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Criminally oblivious

A long, long time ago — specifically, last May, when they were still playing basketball — Rebecca Mead profiled Shaquille O'Neal for the New Yorker. For some reason, the article didn't show up on until this past week (approximately; I forget the last time I idly checked (I think it was when "The Naked Face" showed up on, but it wasn't there then).

Which, while fascinating in its own right, has nothing to do with why I wanted to mention it in the first place. Which I still, somehow, remember. It was this quote:

O'Neal has a tattoo on his right arm that says "Against the Law," and, since he's famously supportive of the uniformed services, I asked him what he meant by it. "It's against the law to be this talented, this beautiful, this smart, this sexy," he said. "I don't mean penal-code law. I mean laws of nature."

O'Neal's a funny guy; his wit is part of what makes the article fun reading. But, sheesh. If he knows natural law so well, why doesn't he break the one about unusually successful individuals tending to be just a wee bit full of themselves?

August 26, 2002 12:09 AM

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