Shaquille O’Neal, the basketball star-turned-TNT-commentator, admitted on a recent broadcast that he helped a young man pay for an engagement ring while out jewelry shopping.
O’Neal relayed details of his generosity when asked about it on last Wednesday’s NBA on TNT telecast, after social media accounts shared the encounter at an Atlanta-area Zales. O’Neal was on the hunt for some earrings when he got the opportunity to help out a fellow human being.
“I seen a guy come in,” O’Neal told his co-hosts, according to People. “He was just so shy and he was saying, ‘Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?'”
Today, picking up the story, reported that O’Neal talked to the young man upon overhearing his question. “I was like, ‘My man, how much is the ring?’ I’m not going to say the amount.”
He then turned his credit card over to the store employee assisting the young man. While he asserted he didn’t do it for the attention, he didn’t shy away from why he helped out when asked.
“The guy just came in; he was a young kid, hardworking guy,” he explained, noting , “’You know what? Tell your girlfriend I got it. Take care of her.’”
The young man was initially reluctant to accept O’Neal’s largesse, until he said, “Don’t worry about it. I do it all the time. I’m just trying to make people smile. That’s all.”
Indeed, O’Neal maintained, “This is something I do every day.”
As People noted, O’Neal has a documented history of helping those less financially fortunate — like in 2019, when he provided a new home for the family of a 12-year-old boy who was paralyzed in an Atlanta shooting.
The video of Shaq’s latest encounter was shared on the ShaqFu Radio Instagram page.
That inspired one person to respond on the page, “I am not surprised at Shaq’s generosity. Take note at his interaction with people, It’s all loving and fun. Need more Shaqs in this world.”