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Shaquille O'Neal challenges Jim Rome to a fight via Twitter

August 5, 2010 |  1:39 am


Wednesday night via Twitter the newest Boston Celtic, Shaquille O'Neal, challenged radio talk show host Jim Rome to a fight.

Clearly annoyed when Rome said on his TV show "Rome is Burning" that Danny Ainge would be making a mistake by signing the former Laker for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million (the deal hadn't been signed yet when Rome taped his show), O'Neal tweeted that if he lost a boxing match with Rome that he would donate his entire salary to charity.

What hit The_Real_Shaq the hardest? Probably not the part where Rome declared that the 15-time all-star and owner of four NBA championship rings hadn't lived up to the expectations people had of his career. But it's hard not to think it didn't sting when the ESPN host claimed that Shaq wasn't as professional and as committed to his body as a former Laker teammate. "You never approached the game with the dedication and discipline of Kobe Bryant,"  Rome said.

"Jim Rome, I am happy with my career and the legacy that I have left behind,obviously u r not happy wit yur legacy I 4got u have no legacy," Shaq retorted.




Soon after he invited Rome to the fight. "And forget the back and forth jim rome, I challenge u to a boxing match, live at espn studios, show the world if u can bak up the tuff talk."

Shaq quickly tweeted something that would make English teachers everywhere cringe, but the spirit of the message was quite clear: "If u wanna see shaq box jim rome live on espn. I do if he wins ill donate my salary to a charity of his choice."

Rome emerged from The Jungle and replied to the seven-foot, 300+ pounder as one would expect, "@THE_REAL_SHAQ  For 8 mill, maybe, but I'm not getting my face caved in for the veteran's minimum. & you are a little out of my weight class."

The tweets volleyed back and forth for a few more rounds until the center quoted himself and then linked to a video of Rome being attacked by NFL quarterback Jim Everett (then of the Saints) after Rome addressed Everett as "Chris" in reference to an opinion the talk show host had that Everett was playing football like a girl, namely tennis star Chris Evert.

"You just threw the Everett card? So tired. So easy. So boring. What happened to you? Where's the Big Aristotle?" Rome asked. And the tweets stopped.

While it's yet to be seen whether Shaquille O'Neal can help the Celtics get past the Heat in the East, he's responsible for one mild miracle -- the ability to bring, with a few sloppy keystrokes, Jim Rome back to the national spotlight.

-- Tony Pierce