09/02/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
He's been a rapper. A movie star. And a -- oh, boy -- a sports hero. But Lakers MVP Shaquille O'Neal is no longer calling himself "The Big Aristotle." The superhero of the NBA finals took that nickname when he quoted the philosopher at the regular season Most Valuable Player presentation. At a celebration yesterday in Los Angeles (to mark the Lakers' first pro title in a dozen years), Shaq shed the new name -- or, rather, replaced it for another. "I want to be known as 'The Big Shakespeare,' " he said. Quoting Big Willie, Shaq added, "Some men are born great . . . some have greatness thrust upon them." He also vowed to help clean up the city in the aftermath of damaging celebratory riots that took place after the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers on Sunday by pledging to buy L.A. two new police cars. "We just want to be safe, we want everybody to be safe and do the right thing because we're going to get (a championship) next year, too," he said.