Shaq is one of the most legendary players in the NBA. In his 19 years playing professional basketball, his on-court persona was competitive, vicious, threatening, and oftentimes provoking toward his opponents. His big size and fierceness earned him the title of the most dominant player in the game. Throughout his NBA career, we’ve seen plenty of controversial moments, from fistfights on the court to the most dramatic feud with teammates like Kobe Bryant. O’Neal was never one to bite his tongue or turn the other cheek. When he hung up his jersey in 2011, fans everywhere began to view him in another light. Off the court, he’s not so intense, vicious, or difficult.
As he took on the job as a basketball commentator for TNT, he’s gotten a chance to show us the real Shaq. O’Neal is a goofy guy unafraid to poke fun at himself and laugh at his career lowlights. Not only does he charm fans, but he also is known as someone who never forgets to give back to those in need. In 2021, the basketball legend went viral for helping a young man at a jewelry store pay for his engagement ring. For Christmas 2021, O’Neal celebrated big by gifting 500 kids presents they’ll never forget -– PS5’s, Nintendo Switches, bikes, toys, and much more. When asked about his good deeds, he said, “I’m into making people happy. Whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed” (per Today). He went from the angry hulk to an oversized Santa Claus.