NBA great and Miami Beach reserve police officer Shaquille O'Neal gave a nationally televised shoutout to several South Florida police agencies and Broward County sheriff Scott Israel following game 5 of the Miami Heat/Indiana Pacers series Thursday night.
O'Neal was sworn in as a reserve police officer with the Miami Beach police department in December 2005. He had previously been a reserve officer in Los Angeles.
The shoutouts resulted from O'Neal being teased by castmates during his video analysis of a clash between the Pacers' Tyler Hansbrough and the Heat's Chris "Birdman" Andersen during the second quarter.
Beginning with a declaration that "detective O'Neal is on the case," Shaq pointed out during a video replay that the incident was the result of mistaken identity. Andersen had shoved Hansbrough for incorrectly believing Hansbrough had walloped him from behind. The bump in fact came from Pacers forward Paul George.
As the TNT crew continued discussing the replay, O'Neal suddenly interrupted: "Can I give a shoutout?"
"Right in the middle of what we're doing here? Sure, whatever," replied a visibly annoyed Ernie Johnson.
"The reason why I called that," Shaq said, "was because I was raised by chief Don DeLucca and Ray Martinez. That was great detective work right there. [...] I just wanted to tell them thank you for making me become a great detective."
The other commentators began ribbing O'Neal, with Charles Barkley shouting, "You ain't never been no cop!"
O'Neal became upset, telling Barkley to "stop it, stop it" and that he had attended three police academies. O'Neal then looked straight at the camera and rolled along with his shoutouts: "Miami Beach, Golden Beach, Broward County sheriffs, Sheriff Israel -- what's up, baby? -- Sheriff Mike Brown in Virginia -- what's up, baby?"
As the crew continued the back and forth, the TNT control room aired a photo of O'Neal dressed in a fictional police uniform during the shooting of the Adam Sandler comedy 'Grown Ups 2,' in which O'Neal plays a police officer.