Shaquille O’Neal, NBA Hall of Famer, television basketball commentator, and America’s pitch-man doesn’t want to be thought of as a celebrity. Despite the fact that EVERYONE knows who he is, likely most people would recognize him on the street, and he has been highly visible, and universally lovable his entire career he wants to be thought of as a regular guy.
Recently, in an interview with people magazine, Shaq had some interesting comments about fame and celebrity in general. When discussing the topic, Shaq said: “I denounced myself from being a celebrity thirty years ago because a lot of celebrities are a**holes. I don’t want to be in that category,” he added. “I’d rather demote myself to being just a regular person before you call me a celebrity and put me in the category of those jerk-***s.”
If anyone should know about the topic, it is O’Neal. He has been a pitch-man and “celebrity” since his playing days at LSU. He has done movies, commercials, has done rap songs, and hangs out with the “General”. He knows a thing or two about a** hole celebrities. Can you blame his for not wanting to be lumped in with them?
The basketball legend continued with People: “I denounced myself from being a celebrity thirty years ago because a lot of celebrities are a**holes, I don’t like to work with celebrities because celebrities are crazy, so I just like to work with people,”
Shaq gets blunt about social status: 'A lot of celebrities are a–holes' https://t.co/bGXsbIPZ5j
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 13, 2023
Nobody likes an “a” hole. If the celebrity world is full of them as Shaq suggests, and I suspect he is correct, then part of his universal appeal has to be how he has managed to never become what he dislikes. In an interview with the New York Post in 2021, he further elaborated: “Celebrities are crazy, they really are,” Shaq said at the time. “Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
“Celebrities are crazy, they really are,” Shaq said at the time. “Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
O’Neal is known as one of the nicest, most generous people in sports/entertainment. He often walks the walk, just as he talks the talk. Recently Shaq took a date to Chelsea hotspot Jue Lan Club in New York City, and displayed his generosity and what a good dude he is. According to a source at People:
“And to top that off, he paid for everyone’s check [who was] dining at the restaurant,” the source shared.
The outlet noted that O’Neal wanted to keep his treat to the 40 tables of patrons a secret until he had left the restaurant.
Sources said the bill amounted to “well over $25,000.” The source also told the outlet that Shaq was “extremely generous” to the staff. “He left them the biggest tip they’ve ever received,” the source added.
Shaq continues to be one of the most entertaining, good dudes in sports media. He is a breath of fresh air in a stale industry, and even if we have to see his face on television every five minutes pitching literally everything, it’s ok, because we all love Shaq.
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