Shaquille O’Neal, interviewed by Bloomberg TV at SXSW, came out of the closet as as a geek.
“I’m a nerd. I’m a techie. I’m a geek,” the super-sized former NBA player said. “All those terms that we thought were funny are now in.”
Shaq told Jon Erlichman he always likes being at the forefront of everything. He thought one great way to get there would be if he could be the first person in the world to get an iPhone. Before iPhone went on sale, Shaq made his way through his address book until someone was able to connect him directly to “the great Steve Jobs” so he could have the “ultimate bragging rights.”
Shaq called the venerable founder of Apple a few times to try and convince Steve to give him an iPhone in advance. He told Steve he really, really wanted to be the first to get one. Steve didn’t budge and Shaq didn’t get iPhone early.
It’s his first time to attend SXSW in Austin, Texas, and he told Bloomberg all the new technology there makes him feel like a kid in a candy store. In particular Shaq, like Mark Zuckerberg, can’t wait to get his eyes behind Google Glass. He called Google Glass 2056 technology in a tweet:
@fromthefab all u google fans the google glasses r that 2056 technology wow gotta get ten pair hey google holla baq
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 11, 2013
When asked about Twitter, Shaq says he found Twitter by accident. After being misquoted by a reporter and confronting the reporter about the misquote, Shaq learned someone was using his name and pretending to be him on Twitter. He got control of the account and has a formula for tweeting now. It’s “60 percent to make you laugh, 30 percent to inspire you, and then ten percent … I like to promote myself.”
When Shaq retired, he used the social video service Tout to make the announcement. He said he wanted to control the message and didn’t want anyone to have an exclusive.
Shaq is attending SXSW to hear interesting technology and business ideas that he can match with investors:
“In this world, there’s enough tech … enough dream space for everyone to survive.”