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Shaquille O'Neal says Kobe Bryant among greatest ever [Video]

November 30, 2011 |  6:10 pm


Shaquille O'Neal isn't called the Big Aristotle for nothing. 

After all, it is a wise man who can forgive and forget.

Even though Kobe Bryant said O'Neal was fat and out of shape during their playing days with the Lakers, O'Neal was quick to praise his former foe at a book signing Tuesday evening at a Barnes & Noble store in Santa Monica for his new autobiography, "Shaq Uncut."

"He's by far the best Laker," O'Neal said of Bryant.

Is he the greatest NBA player of all time?

"He's up there," he added.

As for O'Neal's legacy, the big man thinks of himself on a completely different scale.

"I just like to make people laugh and have a good time," he said.

That's for sure.

In between signing books and posing for photographs, O'Neal found the time to tell a "yo' mama" joke to ESNews' Elie Seckbach.

"Your mother is so dumb, she thought Taco Bell was a Mexican phone company," O'Neal said while surrounded by journalists.

O'Neal made it clear that he has a huge amount of respect for Bryant, but that doesn't mean No. 24 is his favorite player. Another superstar seems to have stolen his heart -- a man named Blake Griffin.

He apparently has even given the Clippers forward a nickname: Earthquake.

Why earthquake?

Don't question the ways of the Big Aristotle.

He can't be stopped. Seriously. Remember Hack-a-Shaq, when 6-foot-(insert very large number) men would be flung around like flies while trying to thwart the 7-foot-1, 325-pound O'Neal? I take that back. Apparently one man could stunt the beast --and it's probably not who you think. Mark Madsen.

"He used to beat me up in practice," O'Neal said.

But O'Neal has moved on from all of that. He's retired. As for which nickname best suits O'Neal at this stage in his life -- and there are so many to choose from (Wilt Chamberneezy, the Hobo Master, Shaqtus, etc.) -- O'Neal said each of those may soon be obsolete.

"Once I graduate from receiving my Ph.D, I'll only answer to Doctor O'Neal," he said.

-- Melissa Rohlin