The idea of Shaquille O'Neal as a Nugget becomes an inaugural-concert laugh line

During last night's Kids' Inaugural concert, a Michelle Obama-hosted bash for military families and Washington, D.C.-area children that was nationally broadcast on the Disney Channel, performers such as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers shared spotlight time with an extended video package shot in the Denver area. The footage featured basketballer Shaquille O'Neal speaking to youngsters gathered at Buckley Air Force Base -- and during a Q&A segment, a girl asks him why he decided to be a Denver Nugget. A grinning O'Neal gently explained that he's a member of the Phoenix Suns as laughter from the D.C. crowd could be heard in the background.

Even more amusing is the idea of O'Neal in a Nuggets uniform. Not so long ago, plenty of locals would have salivated at the prospect -- but the years have taken their inevitable toll on Shaq's game. His lack of foot speed has acted as an anchor on the Suns' thrilling run-and-gun style, and it would no doubt do the same if he came to Denver. Luckily, such a move isn't in the cards -- because it wouldn't be funny.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts