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“Just because I have more than the average guy, doesn’t mean I’m better” - Shaquille O'Neal on why he continues to give back

The Diesel has always given back to his community because he never forgets where he once came from.
Los Angeles Lakers icon Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal

It's no secret Shaquille O'Neal has a huge heart. He'll always be known as a flat-out killer and dominant player on the court, but outside of it, Shaq's had countless moments you can classify as heartwarming and wholesome. That side of O'Neal was recently highlighted in a clip that's currently making the rounds on the internet.

Shaq does an inspiring deed while in McDonald's

O'Neal walked into a McDonald's branch in Las Vegas, intending to buy himself food and carry on with his day. However, as the 4-time champion entered the fast food joint, he spotted a homeless man sitting alone at a table with no food. The homeless man looked lonely and seemed like one who didn't know where his next meal would come from. So Shaq did the right thing by going to his table and asking him how many chicken sandwiches he would want to eat for the day.

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After buying the homeless man a sandwich, O'Neal also stumbled upon another man by the counter with a Lakers logo on his hair. The NBA legend offered to pay his bill and ordered 2 chicken sandwiches for the Lakers fan. In fairness to Shaq, he does these little good deeds not to show off but because deep inside his heart, he knows these people deserve to be rewarded and treated like him.

"I come from a place where I had nothing and just because I have more than the average guy, doesn't mean I'm better than the average guy. There are people out here working their asses off, working way harder than me who live shift by shift. Those are the people running the country. I'm just a guy that's very lucky," O'Neal said.

The importance of humility

Whether that's in relation to his NBA contracts in the past or teaching his children the importance of staying humble, Shaq always prioritized saving money. Sure, he did have reckless expenses in the past (like when he spent $9M of his $10.5M salary in one day), but as he grew older, O'Neal's always talked about the importance of saving and spending wisely — because he once grew up in a time when he and his family were struggling to make ends meet. It's also one of the reasons why Shaq continues to give back and believes that he got lucky in life thanks to his basketball talent.

In retrospect, it's nice to see this side of O'Neal and how he does it often. It's yet another reminder that we can always do the little things to give back because, as O'Neal said, there are struggling people out there who are working harder than us. The least we can do is give back and support them in any way we can. Most of the time, the gesture means as much, if not more, than the gift itself. 

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