Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Shaq Got a #doctorit And All I Got Was This T-Shirt

The Big Ph.D.

So why for come ain’t nobody not tell me that Shaquille O’Neal got a Ph.D. in some Ph.D. sh*t from Barry University?

By the way, that last sentence was brought to you by publicly funded education.

So the homey Cheekie sends me an email talking about Shaq getting his Ph.D. last weekend and I immediately hit her with the virtual Chris from Family Guy, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?”

Let me tell you something. That made me smile. Big and wide. Kind of how I like my white women. With there being so much drama in the LBC, you rarely hear stories about athletes making vast educational achievements. Turns out, the Big Aristotle also has an MBA. Sure its from the University of Phoenix-Online, but hell, do YOU have an MBA…from anywhere? (If you do just shut up and sit there silently as to not destroy my point. Thanks. — Management)

I feel like its very to easy to read article after article about low graduation rates from college for athletes. Especially basketball playing (read ninja-like) athletes. But I’m fairly certain that if it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t know about Shaq getting a Ph.D. (from Barry University in Miami) in leadership and education with a concentration on human resource development. What does that mean? I don’t know. But I’ll bet the other folks with Ph.D.s in that know.

I feel like stories such as this one should be well reported everywhere. I remember some years ago when Vince Carter decided to possibly miss a playoff game to go to his graduation from UNC. People were in an uproar. How could he not be devoted to his teammates at such a pivotal time. Vince Carter was like, “dude, this is my life. You go to college to walk across the stage and graduate, and that’s what I’m going to do.” I couldn’t be mad at him or blame him. The NBA, is his job. Getting an education is a life goal that so many of us have and that achievement gets acknowledge by walking across the stage so that friends and family can witness what was such a lofty goal for so many of our ancestors.

I also remember some years ago when Myron Rolle, from Florida State, ended up becoming a Rhodes Scholar and decided to go to Oxford for a year and pasing up the NFL draft to get a Master’s degree first. His coaches, some players, and analysts thought he had lost his damn mind, but he was very focused on his education and getting to his ultimate goal of becoming a doctor. He plays in the NFL now. And is well on his way. Hell his Wikipedia page might be the most interesting athlete page ever.

I did a google search trying to find out how many professional athletes have graduate degrees (or hell degrees period) and couldn’t find anything. But if I wanted to know which school didn’t graduate the most athletes I’m sure that’s available (my guess is Kentucky). And this isn’t a race thing. Athletes, especially, professional athletes get credited as being dumb jocks a lot but the truth is that a lot of them (not all, obviously not all) do value getting an education. And finish those degrees. It’s just some rich white man was willing to pay them millions of dollars to hold a ball. I remember telling my father that if I had a chance to play professionally, I’d finish college first and my father looked at me like I was crazy. He said if somebody’s willing to pay you for that, school isn’t going anywhere. So the incentive to roll out is substantial.

But numbers of these guys go back and finish their degrees. Which is why hearing that Shaq has a Ph.D. is such a great story to me. I don’t even know him and I’m proud of him. He knows the value of an education and kept at it. You go Shaq.

I think I wrote all that to just say, “you go Shaq!”

Yay.

So, happy Friday! Um…isn’t that great?

By the way, I do realize the inherent “low standardism” that I displayed by being excited that an athlete actually got a degree. Maybe that says a lot about me. Maybe that says a lot about how I view athletes. N.E.R.D. has a song called “Maybe”.

*takes ball and goes home*

The floor is yours.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. TAKES BALL AND GOES HOME aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Also, I feel like I should introduce for those who haven’t been, an interesting webseries that I’m sure all of you cubicle-n*ggas can understand and relate too: The Unwritten Rules. Peep the trailer then go check out the two episodes. It’s worth the watch.

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is a co-founder of VSB and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

    Jammy Jams if you are going to make me watch something, make sure you are actually in it. Thanks!

    Right this minute I just got blessed with my Doctorate in One Eye in One Eye Dead
    Cottamn….I swear, Iunno what I’m typing.

    I’m happy for Shaq,but imma need him to get a Doctorate in TAWKIIIIN and pronouncing errygatdamn syllabo like this Italian that reminds me of pounded yam

    Oh Lawwwwdieeeeeeeee what’s was the question again?!

    • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

      and then I am FIRST?! It’s a motherloving wrappppppppppppppp!!!!!

      Goooooooodnite pippoz

      • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

        Yay! *pops the palm wine*

        • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

          thank you ma broda!

          *sips some*- and starts dancing azonto.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      what are you talking about, Shaq talks as good or gooder than Magic Johnson, the patron saint of articulationness.

      • Dignan

        Yeah, he’s better than Emmitt Smith, too — the only man I’m aware of that lost his television job because he couldn’t speak the English language.

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Congrajulashins Shaq on yer PhDeez. Now hopfulee ewe can tweet beter thna Tyereese and say sumthing coheerint on Inside Tha NBA

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i’m fairly certain that you just displaced the space time continuum.

  • eye(c)ande

    Peejes and cream, I’m trying to figure out how you missed this. You usually know everything. You’re like AT&T’s network (in the commercials not in real life). Dude had his regalia and errthang on during Inside the NBA. Who was watching Disney huh?

    • eye(c)ande

      *You

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you know whats funny. i got into the BIGGEST argument with an ex once about my pop culture knowledge b/c i wasn’t aware of a movie that existed. i think it was “waiting for superman”. she told me that it was a huge huge deal and i was like it couldn’t have been that huge a deal if i never heard of it. lol.

      methinks we were both wrong. but i also dont watch oprah. but i do miss sh*t is the main point here. and apparently im arrogant (was her point there).

      • Classy6ft5

        She was right, that movie was kind of a big deal.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          i still aint seent it. lol. too bad. we got into a big argument about that with her calling me arrogant and all kinds of shit. which could be true. i mean…i’m me.

          • MJoy

            my ex would always say that “if I haven’t heard of it, then…” nonsense all the time. Arrogant azz.

          • http://twitter.com/SoulaPowa Soula Powa

            Yeah, brother PJ, you should check that documentary out ASAPually. It was very eye-opening and informative about our broken educational system from the level of the chilluns.

            • http://twitter.com/SoulaPowa Soula Powa

              And thanks for the Unwritten Rules info. IDK why writing like this isn’t getting more shine.

              • MJoy

                how many episodes are there? I just saw the first two and the writing was ok but the delivery was not funny what so ever… :/ Seemed like a bad attempt at a ABG knockoff.

          • A Woman’s Eyes

            as if there’s something wrong with being a smart man and arrogant.

  • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

    Proud of the Shaq Attack, I think its a great thing he has done. it ll inspire many kids and folk out there. I wish news like this get publicized more. O well. It must be a conspiracy by the man to prevent young black kids from hearing uplifting and positive news and ish. The unwritten rules web series looks interesting, for some reason I have never gotten into web series. Still havent seen the awkward black girl thing. I have heard rave reviews and stuff but i m too busy watching Game of Thrones, Californication or House of lies to really care.

    • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com/ Craig and Dem

      Yo while you talking about shows, has anyone heard anything about that new show, Scandal with Kerry Washington? Lord knows I love that women and consider her a very close second to the woman of my dreams (ROSARIO!!) but I wanna know someone’s opinion on the show if you’ve seen it

      • annette_b

        I’ve watched it. It has kind of a West Wing vibe, only instead of focusing on what goes on in the White House, this is more about a political operative / fixer of Scandals outside the White House. So far, so good. Not too much snark; K. Washington is good in the role and I also like the suupporting cast. One caveat though; if you’re looking for depth, this isn’t that show.

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          Keri’s neck is looking to gaunt for me these days. It freaks me out a little.

          • annette_b

            Bbrrrr…! Just got a little chilly in here, WIP…
            I have to say, as soon as the pregnant intern said “I’m going to tell them the truth”, I knew she was a dead woman. (I’m assuming you watch the show. If I’m wrong, kindly ignore that previous comment.)

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            gaunt though? LOL

            • shan

              I love Game of Thrones, definitely addictive. Haven’t seen Scandal, yet!! but it looks pretty enticing and intriguing. What day does that come on ??

              ***hooray for ShaQ ..from being a Kazaam to a Buccaneer is totally a step up. PROUD***

      • http://ccooper929.wordpress.com/ Chad C.

        I am so proud of my fellow LSU alum Shaq diesel for earning his PhD. If only they could fix that “one and done rule” to mirror MLB–straight from high school or stay 3 yrs.

        Scandal is the best thing on ABC right now. It took having Kerry Washington making history as the 1st Black woman to star as the lead in a network drama to lure me back to watching network dramas.

        After watching last night’s episode, I was speechless. Left my mouth wide opening and had to pick my jaw off the ground. Shonda Rimes is a great writer. ABC would be a fool if they did not pick this up for another season. If they punk out, some other network betta pick it up. Season finale is next week

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          real talk.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        i watched an episode for the first time last night. i’m sold on it. i wanted to go back and watch all the previous episodes. plus kerry washington is bad as hell.

      • That Ugly Kid

        Sir and posse’, I’m going to tell you this just once. Stay away from Rosario Dawson. She’s mine. In fact, stay away from Rosario Dawson, Stacey Dash, Yaya DaCosta, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry (pre-white-peen addicted Halle), Scarlett Johannsen, Shannon Elizabeth, Christina Hendricks, Sofia Vergara, Eva Mendez, Keri Hilson, Erika Alexander, Jennifer Hudson, Sarah Barrable-Tishauer, Bria Myles, Cubana Lust, Amanda Siegfried, Olivia Wilde (watch The Change-Up…oh my jehova), and Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By The Bell anyone?).

        This is for the benefit of your health. Comply and maintain a life of further conflict.

        • That Ugly Kid

          no further*

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          noticing that lark voorhies isn’t on the list. you saw the video too huh?

          • That Ugly Kid

            Yes. I can’t even…I just…first the Bulls get outed by the wack azz 76ers and now I see my childhood crush looking like…man this is what fans of the Charlotte Bobcats must feel like every day.

        • MJoy

          that’s a super long list

          • That Ugly Kid

            I like having options. You can never have too many options. Especially beautiful, big breasted, redonkulous options at that.

        • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

          Damn son, that is a long list, you aint leaving none for the rest of us. Boo! *throws tomatoes at selfish dude* lol

          • That Ugly Kid

            *Dodges tomatoes like Neo from The Matirx then flips middle finger.*

            You just mad I called ‘em first. Don’t hate!

            • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

              how is my crater inducing boyfriend doing?

        • http://voodoochile88.tumblr.com Craig and Dem

          @TUK
          How you gon do me like that kinfolk? You got that whole list let a brotha bask in the glory that is Rosario Dawson.

        • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

          ERIKA ALEXANDER——————>that is my all and everything!

          So with all due respect, she mine!!!!!!!!! and she funny as all heavens.

        • Dignan

          Sir,

          I must say that I have major respect for your list. Great taste in women. However, I’ve been lusting after Rosario since before you were old enough to lust. She’s mine.

          Also, no Salma? Fair enough, she’s mine too.

      • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

        Funny enough, I started watching and caught up with all the episodes of scandal last week. Its a very good show. I dont see it lasting more than 2 seasons but that is my spidey sense. That said, the writer was the same one behind grey’s anatomy so perhaps there is enough clout to keep this show for a few seasons. Also the show made me start fantasizing about Kerry Washington, heck I want her to uncover my scandal. clue, i m hiding it between my legs Kerry. lol

        • Aly

          Lol!! Ok, I’m eating lunch right now and this seriously almost made me spit my drink out.

          • Aly

            Oh, and btw I am getting a TON of work done today due to the, shall we say “less controversial” subject matter of today’s post. Thanks VSB! *thumbs up*

          • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

            The scandal episode can be called, “the mystery of the one inch black man”

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      you should really check out Awkward Black Girl. it’s worth it.

      • MJoy

        like for real, for real

      • http://moacn.wordpress.com Sir Farouk

        I ll get on it, it will be on my summer watch list.

  • Bad Mama Jama

    It’s not low standardism because it’s a Ph.D. 3% of Americans have a doctorate or professional degree. #gameover

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      i was talking more about getting a degree period. not just a phd.

  • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

    The Unwritten Rules is one of my favorite webseries outside of ABG and Anacostia.

    If I were given the choice to make millions before graduating or to finish my degree, I’d finish my degree. I’m one of those folks that has to see things through to completion, so i’d eventually regret leaving school prematurely even if it were for a major sports deal.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather listen to Shaq speak over Charles Barkley.

    • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 Tristan

      Chuck is starting to get a little too shock jock-ish…its not as funny when its clear you’re trying, kinda like when charlie sheen went on tour for some reason

      • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

        Shock Jockish? Yeah.. I could see that. lol

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      I just checked out TWR- it’s aight. it definitely made me laugh. Seems like their beating up some old stereotypes though.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        thats kind of the point, no?

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          I hope not. They gotta bring some new laughs to the table, not just skits of old jokes. (I specifically recall dude on Steve Harvey’s radio show talking about the lunch thing a couple months ago.) I’m giving it a chance!

    • MJoy

      I’d take the money

  • b sweet

    I’m sorry now, what?

    Degrees are becoming the new h@es down for a one night stand with no condom-easier to get with money and status.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      that would imply that he didn’t have to work for it though. i get the impression that he actually had to complete work for that.

      hell Bill Cosby might be in the same boat. read up on his educational attainment. lol

  • Maneek

    I’m sorry but I can’t focus on anything in tonight’s entry until someone confir s if that’s HOOPS WEARING A CAP N GOWN TOO?! Was it a twofer deal?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      LMAO. no that ain’t Hoopz.

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    As a Pharrell stan, N.E.R.D. only has one album worth a damn: Seeing Sounds.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Whaaaaaaa…!? In Search Of is one of the most classic albums of the aughts. Seeing Sounds was cool, mostly because I was happy they were off of WHATEVER they were on when they made that $9.99 weed plate called Fly Or Die.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        I wouldn’t go that hard on Fly or Die, but you’re right that it wasn’t their best work. I was more like alright than crummy. Still, In Search Of… and Seeing Sounds are both a lot better.

    • CNotes

      *GASP*
      Blasphemy! In Search Of… is a very good album.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

    Good for Shaq. Now he needs to encourage his ex-wife to get her doctorate in “I promise not to produce anymore TV shows, ever”. Her thesis can be “How I made a bunch of money by making Black women look like fools on VH1 and now no one worth a damn has any respect for me”.

    • Latonya

      Tami Roman believe that “millions of people,” will “suffer” if the show is taken off the air? But any way good for Shaq for getting his Phd!

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com/ Val

        Did you hear that Tami is actually writing some kind of self-help/ Steve Harvey kind of book for Black woman? Lol It’s true.

        • Iceprincess

          Really?? Omg tami needs to get a life.

        • Chanelle

          lol she needs to write a book on how to control her anger issues and how to not be a bully

          • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

            I have to admit, even though I want her to get drug one good time, Tami is enjoyable to watch.

            • Chanelle

              lol this is all true

        • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

          I do hope Tami really makes the “Real Househusbands of Hollywood” playing Kevin Hart’s wife (from the BET Awards.) There’s a rumor that show might be made

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      In Shaunie O’Neal’s defense, she has publicly said that her idea got hi-jacked. The ratchetness that Basketball Wives has become wasn’t her idea.

      • http://twitter.com/itztrizz617 Tristan

        and Maury Povich just wanted a normal talk show…but ratchet sells.

        • MJoy

          if Maury ever went “normal” I might have to protest television forever

      • StillSuga

        The ratchetness it has become may not have been her original idea, but that hasn’t stopped her from depositing those producer checks…. <—–not a Shaunie fan

        • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

          Ya, I’m not buying that. Shaunie is one of the best instigators around.

      • http://flavors.me/brran1 brran1

        I’m probably one of the few people out here who have yet to watch Basketball Wives. Based off of what I hear from Twitter, blogs, and etc. I’m not missing too much.

        • Justmetheguy

          @ brran1 – Nah, you’re definitely not. I tuned in yesterday for the first time. My only take away was that Evelyn is actually really good looking, but I’d NEVER wanna meet her in person because I feel like she would ice grill me until I looked away, then bite my head off for sustenance. Smh, no country for angry @ss women

          • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

            you find Evelyne hot?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

            that’s an insult to hot ladies.

            • MJoy

              She would be pretty if she didn’t look like she was wearing dentures.

              • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com Locks of Love

                looooolll!!

                I find her a-okay. or may be it’s because she has one of the ugliest personalities known to man and it’s rubbing off on her beauty.

                • Justmetheguy

                  Lol, she’s definitely hot. If she just sat there and never opened her malicious @ss mouth she’d be gorgeous (dentures and everything lol). I wouldn’t put her on my “can get it” list though, cause she’s too damn grouchy. Smh

      • http://www,greenafrodiva.com Green Afro Diva

        but isn’t she a producer on the show? I’m not mad at her hustle but why she gotta fake?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      isn’t she also trying to develop a movie that’s basically The Game on the big screen??

    • http://www,greenafrodiva.com Green Afro Diva

      Lets all have a moment of silence for tami because word is, she is currently a victim of cyberbullying

      • MJoy

        good