Todd Gallagher, the guy who wrote the Andy Roddick Beat Me With a Frying Pan; Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Answer Sports Fans' Burning Questions contends that Shaq's new reality show is a rip-off, well, basically, stolen from him.
He's not the only one apparently.
Tuesday's debut, which featured Shaquille O'Neal taking on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
in football, was a tad long and a bit contrived. It became decidedly more interesting, though, when the credits rolled and this name popped up as one of the executive producers:
There's an interesting back story here, one that explains in part some of the fractured relationships that defined the Suns' struggles last season.
O'Neal stole Nash's idea.
Shortly after O'Neal was traded to the Suns in February 2008, Nash mentioned to his new teammate a reality show he was pursuing. It would feature the Suns point guard taking on professional athletes in their own sport.
The topic didn't come up again until early in the 2008-09 season, when O'Neal boarded the Suns bus and told the team he would be starring in a new reality show in which he would be taking on, you got it, professional athletes in their own sport.
"You mean the idea you stole from me?" one Suns representative said he heard Nash say.
Nash eventually sought out an entertainment lawyer, according to sources, which is why he now has an executive-producer credit and the compensation that comes with it.
In Shaq's defense, this isn't really the most original of ideas. BBC started a show decades back called "Superstars" that works on the same premise. Athletes challenging other athletes in their respective sports. It eventually made its way to America and ABC. Nash, Gallagher, and Shaq could all be said to be ripping off that original idea.
If the money and the executive producer credit makes Nash happy, then that should be the end of it. The fact that the network and Shaq gave him the producer credit at all also lends credence to the notion that Shaq really did rip him off, however.