Shaquille O’Neal -- a Bull? It never came close, according to the future NBA Hall of Famer. But O’Neal, who played for six teams before announcing his retirement in June, said the Bulls did reach out to him not that long ago.
“They never really contacted me,” O’Neal told me over the phone Wednesday before correcting himself. “They did a little bit last year, but it was too late.”
O’Neal -- who was promoting his All Star Comedy Jam at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino Nov. 4 -- didn’t specify exactly why it was too late. And when asked if he would have liked to play for the Bulls during his 19-year career, O’Neal was vague.
“Chicago is a great city,” O’Neal said. “I have relatives there. It’s beautiful and very hospitable.”
Heads up: "Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story" will screen in a limited number of Chicago-area theaters November 3. The documentary follows the UIC alum's unlikely path from MLS reject to playing in England's Premier League and the 2010 World Cup. Click here to find a screening.
Home away from home: Five of the six road teams that have faced the Bears at Soldier Field during the pre-season and regular season have stayed at the JW Marriott. And to make them feel more comfortable, the Financial District hotel paints its private security entrance with the team’s colors. "We may all be die-hard Bears fans here, but we focus on making the visiting players feel welcome,” said Director of Sales and Marketing, Steve Conklin in a press release.
Sightings: Cubs great Ryne Sandberg had dinner at Japonais Tuesday. … The New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson hung out Tuesday at The Fifty/50, where he is an investor. … The Blackhawks’ Bryan Bickell dined with friends at Chicago Cut Steakhouse Monday. Former Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles watched the World Series at Chicago Cut Steakhouse that same night. … “Ace of Cakes” star Duff Goldman sat front row at the Blackhawks game at the United Center Tuesday.