Walkin’ Tall

The legend Shaq Diesel taking law enforcement to new heights.

So notoriously nicknamed is former NBA star and ubiquitous television personality Shaquille O’Neal that multiple media outlets have published lists of his *top* nicknames, implying there are many more they are leaving off the list.

(For the record, Google lists 26 nicknames, though seven are variations on “Shaq,” which is no less recognizable than other one-name stars such as Prince, Madonna, Cher, or Pele, and 18 follow the same “The Big [Blank]” construction, some more original than others.)

The 7-foot-1, 325-pound (his listed weight during his playing days) behemoth can add another one: Deputy Shaq.

Shaq has a fairly impressive list of law enforcement credentials dating back to training to become a second-class reserve officer for the Port of Los Angeles police department when he played with the Lakers. He also has been a reserve officer in Miami Beach, Tempe (Arizona), Golden Beach (Florida), and Doral (Florida), an honorary deputy in Bedford County, Virginia, and was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in Clayton County, Georgia.

The latest addition to his resume is an auxiliary deputy for the Broward County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, and it isn’t just a publicity stunt. Shaq met in March with new sheriff Gregory Tony to brainstorm and discuss community policing.

Shaq might not be content to stick with the deputy tag for long, though. He has publicly stated a desire to run for sheriff somewhere in 2020, though he didn’t say where.

Shaq is no stranger to venturing into unexpected territory.

“The Big Aristotle” is a true renaissance man. He’s the rare elite professional athlete who not only returned to complete his undergraduate degree after leaving early for the NBA draft, but also earning two advanced degrees, including a doctorate in education, and studying directing and cinematography.

“Shaq Diesel” has released five studio albums as a rapper, had starring roles in multiple films and supporting roles in numerous movies and TV shows, and hawked everything from Pepsi and Nestle Crunch bars, to IcyHot and The General insurance.

“The Big Shamrock” pops up periodically at professional wrestling events, once trained as a mixed martial artist, and has a large and diverse investment portfolio.

And The Big Deputy might one day become The Big Sheriff, perhaps in a town near you.

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