For someone who was over seven feet tall and weighed in at more than 300 pounds, Shaquille O'Neal was remarkably durable throughout his career. Sure, he missed games from time to time, but being able to lace up for 1,207 regular season contests and 216 playoff gams is quite the feat, especially when you played with the level of physicality and pure dominance that Shaq displayed. Credit that to the team doctors, credit that to his nutritionist, credit that to the coaching staff, or credit that to whoever else you'd like... but don't forget that the big man himself probably played a part in keeping up his health, too.
With how talented he is on and off the court, it wouldn't surprise me if Shaq, in having a big role in maintaining his health and durability on his own, was able to pick up a few skills in the medical field along the way. Luckily, that seemed to be the case on Thursday night, when fellow Hall of Famer and "Inside the NBA" costar Charles Barkley had a case of the cramps.
I know just how horrible those sudden, spastic charley horses can be. Punching out the cramp, which was the strategy utilized by Dr. O'Neal, never seems to help me... but that's maybe because I don't have the gargantuan 10.25-inch-long and 12-inch-wide hands that Shaq has. It's probably a more effective remedy than fellow "Inside the NBA" star Kenny Smith's squeeze-the-top-of-your-lip solution, which was deployed when Barkley had a cramp much earlier on in the show's history. Head to the 1:29 mark for some typical hilarity that occurred on the set.
Maybe what's most important at this point is that Chuck gets some stretches in before they get to the rigors of sitting in chairs and discussing basketball for the night. The last thing we need is a good discussion on serious NBA matters, with the postseason about to start, getting interrupted by yet another painful cramp and subsequently hilarious rescue attempt from Shaq M.D.