Many athletes today love nothing more than making everything about themselves.
They have a level of arrogance that only comes from believing you have all the answers to the world’s problems, yet they never do anything to actually help people.
But this NBA legend is taking a different approach, adopting a new hobby of walking around stores until he finds a mother in need.
A couple of months ago, a video of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal popped up online.
In the video, Shaq was doing some shopping inside an Atlanta Zales when he overheard a man discussing a payment plan for an engagement ring he was desperately trying to pay off so he could propose to his wife-to-be.
Without missing a beat, Shaq walked over, put his credit card down, told the store to wipe the debt, shook the man’s hand, and just walked out after the man was given the ring.
Good guy @SHAQ saw this fella buying an engagement ring, and decided to pay for it himself. 👊
— theScore (@theScore) April 7, 2021
Unlike most videos like this of a professional athlete, the video didn’t come from Shaq himself or his team, and he never sought to talk about it publicly, even when the video went viral and became a major news story.
Shaq merely did something to help someone else, and didn’t seem to want any of the credit for it that so many others in his position might.
Since then, additional stories of Shaq helping others in a similar manner have popped up, and yet, he’s still just gone about his business as if nothing happened.
But in a recent interview with Barstool Sports’ “Million Dollaz Worth Of Game” podcast, Shaq was pressed to talk about the good deeds he’s been doing when no one is watching, and admitted that he’s now basically adopted walking around stores until he finds a mother in need as a new hobby.
“What I’ve been doing lately is I go into stores, and I look for moms that remind me of me and my son,” Shaq said. “So the other day, I’m in Best Buy, I ain’t buying nothing, I’m just walking around. And I see this mom and her son, she’s in the layaway section. So I’m here hustling, and she’s in here trying to buy a laptop so her son can go to school.”
“She owed like $1,100, and I heard her say, ‘Ok, I’m going to bring $300 this week,’” Shaq continued. “And then she grabbed one of her babies and said ‘I’m going to get the laptop in two weeks, baby,’ and I said ‘I got you.’”
Understandably, the mother didn’t want to have someone else pay her debts, but Shaq assured her that he had to do it, because that’s what his mother told him to do for others.
“She was like ‘You don’t have to do that,’ and I said, ‘Yes, I do, because my mama told me to do it,’” he said. “My motto lately has been ‘it could be worse.’ It could be worse, and that could be you. So, look, $1,500 ain’t nothing to me, but a mom trying to help her baby go to school, I’m standing right there, do it.”
Not many are built like Shaq. Respect.
You have to hand it to Shaq, he is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time — definitely the most dominant force of nature down low the NBA has ever seen — he’s worth over $400 million, he’s an international superstar, and has every reason to simply go live a life most can only dream of and not bother himself with anything other than his own selfish desires.
Yet, he’s never let any of his success change him — he’s still the same down to earth, fun loving guy he’s always seemed to be, and is going way out of his way to help those less fortunate than him.
And the fact that this is the first time he’s really talked about what he does for others is mind blowing.
Let’s be real, if a guy like LeBron James were doing something like this, it would only be because he’s making a reality show about it while posting nonstop on social media about how great of a guy he is.
But that’s just not who Shaq is, and that’s why even people who hate the NBA love him, and will always be fans of his.
He’s done things the right way and been the type of role model you’d hope every superstar athlete would be.
And in today’s world of athletes who do more to divide the nation and look down on people they don’t know than actually doing something to help others, that’s something to celebrate.
Stay tuned to Sports with Balls for any updates to this ongoing story.