You'd wonder why a man named Shaquille would need a nickname to begin with, but it's likely that only Method Man himself has accumulated as many aliases and alter egos as Shaquille O'Neal has. "Shaq" is a given, as is its many rhymed variations like "Shaq Attaq," and "Diesel" an acceptable non-abbreviation nickname, while his Superman tattoo lent to another easy nickname.
But there were so many others, and he's not done yet, either, sending a video to Twitter shortly after announcing his retirement to solicit a new nickname from his 36 billion followers.
"Shaq-Fu" developed from his 1993 collaboration with the Fu-Schnickens, eventually sprouting into a poorly received 1994 Sega Genesis game. You could also mine his rap lyrics for further self-dubbings, though every rapper does that kind of thing, with that Fu-Schnickens verse alone including "Tony Danza" and "Dick Butkus." In a song with the Notorious B.I.G. he called himself "Daddy Long." He also once rapped that he was going to "change [his] name to Prince," which would have been about the most confusing nomenclature development of all time, since [Prince name joke from 1993].
But it's with the "Big" series that Shaq's nicknames really took on a life of their own.
After Shaq proclaimed himself "The Big Aristotle" due to his own quotaciuousness, an easy template was established. His move to play for the Phoenix Suns equaled "The Big Cactus," or, more poetically, "Shaqtus." To the Boston Celtics? "The Big Shamrock." Wikipedia also lists "The Big Agave," "The Big Galactus" and "The Big Baryshnikov," among quite a few others, though I'm not exactly sure where each of those came from.
How many more are we missing?
For more on Shaq's retirement, check out the rest of this StoryStream.