‘Celebrities Are A**holes’: Shaq Says He Denounced The Label Of Being A Star Years Ago

Shaquille O'Neal attends the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Turner Sports

Superstar and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal said during an interview published Wednesday that many celebrities are “a**holes” and he did not like to describe himself as one.

The 51-year-old NBA commentator made it clear to People magazine that he’s no celebrity, calling them “rude to people” and “obnoxious.”

“I denounced myself from being a celebrity thirty years ago because a lot of celebrities are a**holes,” the Basketball Hall of Famer said.

“I don’t want to be in that category,” he added. “I’d rather demote myself to being just a regular person before you call me a celebrity and put me in the category of those jerk-***s.”

“I don’t like to work with celebrities because celebrities are crazy, so I just like to work with people,” O’Neal continued.

The sports analyst made similar comments in 2021 to the New York Post, saying, “celebrities are going freaking crazy, and I don’t want to be one.”

“Celebrities are crazy, they really are,” Shaq said at the time. “Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”

The former professional basketball player reportedly arrived at the Chelsea hotspot Jue Lan Club in New York City with an unidentified woman, whom he was overheard describing as “my date,” sources told Page Six.

After the two had dinner, Shaq reportedly showed off his generous side, paying for dinner for the entire service team at the restaurant.

“And to top that off, he paid for everyone’s check [who was] dining at the restaurant,” the source shared.

The outlet noted that O’Neal wanted to keep his treat to the 40 tables of patrons a secret until he had left the restaurant.

Sources said the bill amounted to “well over $25,000.” The source also told the outlet that Shaq was “extremely generous” to the staff. “He left them the biggest tip they’ve ever received,” the source added.

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