One of the reasons Shaquille O’Neal is universally beloved is the generosity the superstar shows for the average Joe. The latest example of that was the viral video of Shaq paying for a young man’s engagement ring. He explained the young man was obviously a blue-collar working guy, and his humble rejection of the gesture when Shaq said to put the ring on his credit card won him over. Here’s how Shaq summed up his philosophy when talking about it on Inside.
“When I leave the house, I try to do a good deed. I’m just trying to make people smile, that’s all.”Shaquille O’Neal, NBA on TNT
Yesterday evening, Shaq was a guest on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, and Kimmel took the opportunity to ask Shaq about his generous gestures. Shaq’s done crazy things as Shaq-a-Claus, including driving up a truck of snow for kids in struggling neighborhoods. But what is the single most expensive thing O’Neal ever bought for a stranger?
“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
Same as the young man with the ring, the lady didn’t want to accept such a gift, but Shaq wouldn’t take no for an answer and furnished the entire house for about $30.000. All these stories go back to Shaq’s upbringing. His parents never let Shaq take anything he has for granted. Being a military kid, traveling around the world, and meeting a lot of different people, O’Neal learned that despite all his hard work, talent and a little bit of luck were necessary to become one of the wealthiest basketball players ever. That’s why Shaq doesn’t look down in need, but feels it’s his duty to lift them up.
“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.”Shaquille O’Neal, The Jimmy Kimmel Show