Shaquille O’Neal was menacing on the court when you’re on the other side. He was a bully, a monster in the paint, and a dominant foe. However, off it, he was -- and still is -- a genuine person who truly cared for fans and friends. One of his close buddies who made him a custom bike experienced how Shaq went out of his way to share his blessings with others.
I was looking out for you!
Jesse James, a popular custom bike producer, got to ask The Big Diesel why he once lied about the price of one of the custom bikes done for him. The former L.A. Lakers star then revealed it wasn’t done to make him look good but to help his friend get more profits for his business.
“My question for Shaq is: Everybody knows I built you a bike for $55,000. But how come when you picked it up, you went to Century Club in L.A. and told everybody you paid $155,000?
Shaq: Well, Jesse, the answer is I wanted to make you look good. I only paid 50, but if I told them I paid 100 when they come ask for the same bike, you tell them 100. Your profit is 100. I was looking out for you! Not for me. I want to make you look good, Jesse. You know I love you.”
If it indeed happened, the story fits Shaq’s personality. There were several instances that featured him going out of his way to extend help, even to strangers. O’Neal once bought laptops and shoes for kids he didn’t even know. That’s why he is more blessed than he could ever ask for: Shaq knows how to pay it forward.
(Yes, we know that 100-50=50, so Jesse's profits can't be 100. He probably misspoke, and wanted to say he told everyone the bike was 150.)
Shaq’s Midas touch
O’Neal is a businessman himself, so he knows the struggle of one. He almost lost all of his money when he was younger due to his poor financial decisions. Shaq bounced back big time and now owns several franchises across the U.S. Aside from his ventures, he also works as a TV analyst, brand endorser, and sometimes party D.J. The towering center now helps out as much as he can because he is aware of the massive influence of his platform.
We don't know if there was an increase in custom bike clients for James, but it was the thought that counts. And for that, Shaq deserves a big pat on the back.