The Rematch: On Shaq and A Cop and A Bunch of Kids

The Rematch: On Shaq and A Cop and A Bunch of Kids

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Small Good Thing Dept: Amidst America's epidemic of police abuse, now and then this: When Bobby White, a cop in Gainesville, Fla., got a noise complaint last week about some African-American kids playing street basketball "too loudly" in their neighborhood, his dashcam video caught him turning up, ruefully explaining why he'd come and shooting a few hoops before promising to return with backup. On Saturday, he did. He brought a couple of carloads of smiling cops looking to play, along with a surprise visit from NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who'd seen the video and wanted to help. More video captures the classic moment when Shaq, all seven-foot-plus of him, unfolds himself out of the SUV; notes the cops' Facebook page, "These kids will never forget the day Shaq rolled up to their house to play ball." After shooting hoops a while - the kids are pretty good - Shaq gathers the small black bodies to him. "Stay out of trouble, listen to your parents," he says. "You can be anyone you want to be. I grew up just like this, so only you can change this" - with, on occasion, some basic, civil, straight-talking, good-hearted backup. And remarkably, through the entire visit, nobody gets shot.

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