It's not a surprise that many professional athletes, especially basketball centers, choose means of transportation a few orders of magnitude larger than a Lotus Elise. And anyone who has driven a gigantic truck knows that parking it anywhere near a restaurant is sometimes tough. In those situations, why not bum a ride off of the guy in the Honda Prelude? According to a poster over at Inside Hoops, that's how he ended up chauffeuring one of Basketball's largest players in the small Japanese car. The entertaining story and one more photo below.
Hey, I was at Scottsdale Fashion Square today and ran into Shaq. I was with my girlfriend and we were driving to the mall when i saw Shaq's enormous black truck. We followed him into an office complex and asked to take a picture with him. He said we could as long as I gave him a ride. So after taking pics he hopped in the car and I drove him to the Grand Lux. Pretty sweet.This actually plays into a phenomenon well covered in the sports blogosphere: the Cheesecake Factory Incident. This is the theory that if you're going to have a story where you saw an athlete it's likely that the athlete was spotted at a Cheesecake Factory (or Grand Lux, which is owned by the Cheesecake factory). Why?Henry Abbott over at TrueHoops has a strong hyptothesis :
He actually wanted a ride. He couldn't park his huge truck near the restaurant so he parked a 1/2 mile away and was gonna walk but asked me for a ride instead. Enjoy
Some players spend lavishly on meals every day, but most are actually trying to live on some kind of budget. Guys on rookie contracts and those with aggressive financial planners are trying to get all their meals in without spending beyond their per diem, which is a little over $100 a day when the team is on the road. One big room service meal — fit for a large athlete with wicked metabolism — at an NBA-quality hotel could leave you eating your next meal out of a vending machine. Players spend a ton of time in strange cities. Even the city they play in is new to most young players. Big chains like Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's offer predictability.If only there was an explanation for why Shaq couldn't walk the half-mile... [Inside Hoops via Deadspin ]