stuff.) “I don’t have an entourage. I don’t have security. It’s just me.” I must look incredulous, because he keeps going.
“I order random things from Amazon. I shop at Walmart—it’s my favorite store.”Like so many Americans, he says most days he watches reruns of talk shows and reality TV (his favorite is Maury). At one point after his divorce, he even used a dating app.
But the first woman he chatted with didn’t believe he was really Shaq and refused to meet.“Shaq would never be on this,” she told him.He’s telling me this on the 50th floor of the Four Seasons in Atlanta, in a penthouse surrounded by panoramic views of downtown. It’s also the week of Shaq’s 50th birthday. He walks a little slower than he used to, and he has trouble crossing his ankles or arms.
He’s been feeling reflective recently, watching old footage and recalling old stories for a documentary being made about his life. So he’s ready to talk about everything from his childhood to his family to his own mortality. But first we spend a few minutes on this “celebrity” thing.
He’s adamant.I ask if he’s OK being called an icon—a label that seems, frankly, inarguable. There’s literally a statue of the man outside the basketball arena at his alma mater, Louisiana State University. But Shaq shakes his head.“No,” he says in that ultra-deep voice that’s become so familiar to so many people over the years.
“I’m just a regular person who listened,” he says again. “Just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you. Just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you.” What started as a goofy conversation now feels more profound.Finally we settle on popular.
He nods. “,” he tells me. “The world is crazy right now.
You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em….” It’s saying every situation is unique, so .If you sense your adversary is a bully, that’s actually good news. Bullies’ drama and yelling are mostly bluster. In my experience, they usually give in if you stand your ground.More difficult are situations in which you can’t suss out the motivation behind unreasonable demands.This might be because your adversary is the one with the problem, says Dana Lynch, a mobile app specialist in Atlanta (and a lawyer).
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