For 28 years, Shaquille O’Neal disappears around the 24th of December. Around the same time, Shaq-a-Claus shows up and spends the holidays giving gifts to kids. This year, Shaq outdid himself and explained why giving gifts is his favorite thing to do.
Shaq obviously takes his Santa duties seriously, and giving gifts through his Shaq-a-Clause project is the only holiday tradition O’Neil really sticks to. That’s why he has a strict policy on gift-giving. “I do not accept gifts. You show me a movie where Santa receives gifts and I’ll take one.”
Despite all his success and wealth, Shaq never forgot what’s it like to” wake up and not get one single toy on Christmas, and I don’t want any child to have to go through that.” So this year, The Big Aristotle decided to be the second biggest reason for next-gen consoles shortages after crypto miners.
"My father was a drill sergeant, my mother just was a hard-working woman. They had little, but they taught me the value of giving back. They taught me the value of helping those in need. I called you know, my friend from Nintendo Switch. Ordered about 1000 Switches and 1000 PS5s. I went to Walmart and got bikes. So you know yesterday, at this little elementary school in McDonough Georgia, kids were crying, kids were happy. And that’s what it’s all about."
Shaquille O'Neil, The GaryVee Audio Experience
Once again, Shaq is proving he’s larger than life. The $300 million he made in through NBA contracts would’ve been enough for Shaq to maintain his policy to do at least two selfless deeds a week. But Shaq didn’t rest on his laurels after hanging them up. His post NBA career yearly earnings are estimated at around $30 million - since retirement, Shaq’s been making a max contract every year.
Shaq's acts of kindness
The only time Shaq talks about his acts of kindness is when they already get out. He’s not doing it for the glory or the applause, but talking about great guys like Shaq inspires all of us to be kinder to people less fortunate. You can see that with O’Neil, it’s spontaneous.
We all remember the condition Shaq was in after Kobe’s tragic accident. The man was in shambles, and the guys on Inside were sincerely expressing concern about his health. O’Neil admitted he couldn’t eat or sleep for days. But when a guy at BestBuy came up to him and sincerely expressed his condolences, Shaq felt the love, and his first instinct was to reciprocate it.
Or the time he walked into a jewelry store and saw a blue-collar guy trying to buy a ring for his girlfriend. Seeing a humble guy politely trying to find a way to get that ring made Shaq jump into immediate action and buy it for him. When that story came out, Shaq revealed that the most expensive thing he ever bought for a stranger was furniture for their house.
“The most expensive thing I ever bought was furniture for this old lady’s house. I was in the store one day, trying to get a couch. I saw this lady looking at the couch, she was comparing prices. I said ‘Ma’am just pay for that one,’ and she said ‘Oh, baby thank you, my house just caught on fire. I need a couch.‘ I said ‘You’re house caught on fire?? What else do you need?’”
Shaquille O’Neal, The Jimmy Kimmel Show
The total bill was around $30.000, but Shaq made sure everyone kept their focus on the important part.” The amount wasn’t important, what’s important was that grandma has a smile on her face. I was glad to be able to do that.” The man, the myth, the legend - Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal.