Shaquille O’Neal is set to star in a new reality show, Shaq Vs., for ABC (premieres Aug. 18), and it actually sounds cool enough to make us forget about Kazaam. He’ll go head-to-head with the world’s top athletes — in their own sports. According to USA Today, the list of O’Neal’s opponents includes: Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Oscar de la Hoya, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman Albert Pujols, and beach volleyball gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor. (Shaq hopes to get Lance Armstrong on-board after the Tour de France.) Each hour-long episode is expected to feature preliminary challenges, the rivals talking trash at a news conference, the negotiation of O’Neal’s handicap, and, of course, interaction with underprivileged children.“Our real hope is you come for the absurdity but you stay for the sport,” ABC reality programming co-chief John Saade told USA Today. Count me in. The best way to show how skilled those athletes really are is to pair them against an athlete who won’t be able to make it look so effortless.
Of those confirmed opponents, who are you most excited to see take on Shaq? Which other sports stars would you like to see him call or tweet (apparently, he approached some of them via Twitter)?
addCredit(“O’Neal: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Landov; Phelps: Gary Hershorn/Reuters/Landov”)