O'Neal was "Shaquacious" with the media today. (David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

O'Neal was "Shaquacious" with the media today. (David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images)

As one of the most dominant players to ever play the game on the court and one of the most charismatic to chat with off of it, the media rolled over in droves to hear what Suns center Shaquille O’Neal had to say about his 15th All-Star appearance. 

Suns.com was on hand to record every second of the Big Cactus’ meeting with the press today, so we thought we’d provide you with some of the best snippets. Below is Shaq in his own words:

On playing for Phil Jackson this weekend: “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s taken me somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go. Actually, he’s taken me there four times. He’s one of the greatest coaches ever. I’ve had the opportunity to play for two Hall of Fame coaches in my career.”

On playing together with Kobe this weekend: “I think we were the best little man-big man combo ever created in the league.”

On Kobe: “He’ll probably win the MVP again.”

On losing his voice and sounding like the Godfather today: “This morning I was just woke up and I sounded like this.”

On the Suns: “It’s not really fair to Terry (Porter) or it’s not really my position to say whether a coach needs to be moved or not. I’ve played with teams where coaches mattered and they didn’t matter. All coaches have the same sets. It’s our job as players to just go and get it done. If something goes wrong, three guys will get blamed. Steve (Kerr), myself and Terry.  So we just have to figure things out. ”

On getting used to Terry Porter’s system: “You just have to want to do it. I’ve been regular systems, triangles, no system at all, so I’m the type of player that has always adapted to whatever the coach was calling. These guys are set in their ways.”

On Amar’e Stoudemire possibly getting traded: “I haven’t talked to Steve (Kerr) and I haven’t got a call, even though I also heard my name in those talks too. And the only thing I know is that as a business man, you will do whatever it takes for your business to thrive. I’m just sitting back and waiting to see. He could be traded or I could be traded, anybody could be traded. I haven’t spoken to anyone but I understand the business.

On staying here: “I’d love to stay here. Steve (Kerr) has been good to me and the training staff has rejuvenated my career. I would love to be here but I’m not in control.”

On getting shots: “I went from 20 to 25 shots to eight or nine shots. I am shooting 65, 60 percent in the paint. If I can get some touches, I can do what I do. I don’t really think I can be effective – for example the other night I only took seven shots… They’re not really doubling so I can take my time, take a few bounces, shoot a jump hook and I’m doing pretty good from the line.  I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do and I could do more.”

On Stoudemire’s dip in stats: “The system we ran last year was a little different than what it was last year, that’s why his numbers have dropped. It’s a system he’s really not used to. He’s not really used to posting up. But I think them moving him would have more to do with business.”

On getting back on track as a team: “We just need to want it and we need to make stops. We don’t have a problem with personnel and we don’t have a problem offensively.”

On integrity in the sports world: “I know the word winning adds a lot of pressure and people can’t really handle the pressure.”

On the rumors: “I like Terry. He’s a knowledgeable guy. He played the game. It’s always the players job to go out there and get it done. I played on teams where the coach didn’t even matter. When I played for the great Phil Jackson, he just sat their sometimes and said, ‘Figure it out.’ He said, ‘I’m not bailing you guys out. Figure it out.’”

On figuring it out: “I don’t have an answer for that I know we just have to make stops. We can’t let guys get 40 or 50.”

On life after basketball: “I’ll be a philanthropist, a businessman or possibly own a team.”

On turning it around: “I think we can. What are we? Only two games out of eighth. We still have 30 games left, so anything can happen.”

On if he’s talked with Robert Sarver and Steve Kerr : “I haven’t.”

When asked about his popularity these days and what it was attributed to: “Ask your mother.”  

On not needing touches in the beginning but needing them now: “The system was different.”

On whether or not Porter’s system was the wrong one for this team: “No. It works. Especially if you look at the last eight years. You got to slow it down, limit your turnovers and make stops. My belief is that you make the system, the system doesn’t make you.”

On relationship with Kobe: “It’s different. It’s more professional. Phil let him be him and me be me.”

On whom he’d pay to watch: “Me… Yao. LeBron.”

Does LeBron James have more Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan in him: “Little bit of both. Magic with his great passing ability and Mike they way he gets to the hole and takes over games.”

On giving David Robinson congrats on making the Hall of Fame: “I told Dave something that I never told anyone in my life before. I told him that he deserved it and that he was always my favorite player. He always was. In high school I designed my game. I picked him, Patrick Ewing and Rony Seikaly as the three guys to pattern myself after.”

On who the next big man is after him: “Not sure. They all play different. Yao, I guess.” How about Dwight Howard? “Nah. Different player.”

On looking back: “When it’s all said and done, I’ll be able to open a book and say, ok, he did this. Top 5 in scoring, not bad. Top 10 in blocks, not bad. Four or five rings, not bad. Four different teams, not bad. Helluva player, everybody liked him, not bad.”

On events away from the court this weekend: “I’m doing something special on Sunday and a comedy show on Saturday with Cedric the Entertainer.”

On whether he sees any of the young players with his type of personality: “Not really. I see a lot of guys that try to force it. You can go back to Ms. Swan, my fourth-grade teacher in Georgia, I’ve always been a class clown. I was always silly. I got into trouble. I could remember my mom telling me one day, this is either going to make you a lot of money or get you into a lot of trouble. I can remember one time in college, my marketing professor said, ‘Big guys don’t sell.’ So we better have something to fall back on. I remember he said, ‘Look Shaq, I know you’re thinking about going pro, but I want you to stay and graduate because I want you to have your degree. I want you to have things to fall back on because I don’t really see you making a lot of money outside of the game. Big guys don’t sell.’ That’s what he told me.”

On the best trash-talker in the league: “Nobody really trash talked to me because I’m the type I’ll meet you after the game by the bus. I saw Mr. Garnett talking a little smack last night so I’m going to go with Garnett.”

On the quality of the Suns roster: “This is the first team that I’ve been on where everybody actually likes each other. We hang out. We do things together. They’re nice guys.”

On the beginning of his career: “The first deal I wanted coming out of high school was $8 million for 10 years. But then Jon Koncak signed for $15 million for three years. So I thought, if he could get $5 million a year, I gotta get 15.”

On Kobe: “I told Kobe this, that if we had our own reality show it would be the best ever.”

On marketing himself: “I wanted to have Jordan’s dominance and Magic’s smile mixed with my silliness.”

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