Six-pack Shaq: the many faces of the NBA legend
Throughout his career, O’Neal went by a number of nicknames, including “Shaq”, “the Diesel”, “Shaq Fu”, “Superman”, “the Big Cactus”, “the Big Shaqtus”, “the Big Galactus”, “Wilt Chamberneezy” or ” the Big Baryshnikov”. In order to beef up for a six-pack, the LA Lakers legend has recently transformed his diet, cutting out fizzy drinks, bread and fast food in favour of chicken, fish and salads.
Alongside the likes of Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and his former teammate Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal is one of the biggest stars in the NBA’s history. In 1992, he was selected by Orlando Magic as the first overall pick in that year’s draft, and he won four NBA championships as well as appearing in 15 All-Star Games during his 19-season career. In 2016, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
O’Neal has displayed his acting chops by appearing in several films, though few have found favour with audiences and critics. In 1996, at arguably the peak of his basketball powers, he appeared in Kazaam as a genie who emerged from a magic boom box to grant wishes. However, this notoriously tanked at the box office.
As co-host of TV show Inside the NBA, O’Neal ’s colleague Kenny Smith is used to being the victim of one of his occasional pranks. When Smith decided to out-prank Shaq, he almost killed him!
At over 7 feet tall (7”1 to be precise), Shaq is physically a true giant, as the picture of him with 4”6 19-year-old gymnast and US gold medalist Simone Biles demonstrates. Despite being something of a man mountain, O’Neal’s heart is in the right place, and he is dedicated to working on a number of charity projects for children.
During the 2007 All-Star Weekend, Shaq took part in a hilarious dance off with LeBron James and Dwight Howard – even twerking before it was cool.
When snow season hits the States, Shaq likes to hit the slopes with his sledge.
His favourite hobby is performing cover versions of karaoke to his fans on Instagram – while recreating the videos.