Shaquille O’Neal is known for his exploits on the court as well off it as the former NBA superstar center has been involved in many things in Hollywood.
On “The Pivot Podcast,” O’Neal spoke about how being in movies wasn’t the success he wanted it to be. He said he realized that and how he ventured into pop music and had much more success in that field. O’Neal said:
“I’m a terrible actor, because I got 17 movies and 15 I played myself so it don’t count. Rapping, I’m the No. 1 athlete rapper. Listen, it’s all about taking advantage of opportunities. We don’t get these opportunities.
“Like, I didn’t want to be a rapper, I went on ‘The Arsenio Hall Show,’ and I said, ‘Hey, man, I want to do something different.’ … (Arsenio said,) ‘What you want to do?’ … ‘I don’t want to just come in no fancy suit talk about what I’m going to do. Everybody do that. I want to do something different.’
“He said, ‘What?’ And out of the blue, I just said I want to rap with my favorite rapper. He said, ‘Cool.’ We did it. We did a song and then after that, I thought I had a great performance.”
“My agent called me and said, ‘Man, you ain’t gonna believe this shit.’ I said, ‘What?’ … ‘M*********er,offer you 10 million dollars for a three-album deal.’ I was like, ‘What? Well, yeah, they don’t jive. So I met with the people from the jive. I said, ‘Listen, let’s be realistic, I’m not a rapper. The only way I’ll do this if you let me rap with my favorite rappers.
“They said, ‘Deal.’ So, you know the first album – Redman, Def Jef, Biggie – was able to go platinum. And then the second one went gold, third one went wood. And then people caught on. But, for me, being in the studio with Biggie, that’s my platinum, because – being honest with you – when I went platinum, that little check ain’t doing nothing for me.”
Shaquille O’Neal and his movies
Shaquille O’Neal is one of the greatest players of all time. He’s a four-time champion and three-time Finals MVP. However, Shaq’s movie-making and acting career hasn’t quite hit the standards that his basketball career did and not for the lack of trying.
O’Neal’s two best movies are “Blue Chips” (1994) and “Kazaam” (1996).
Shaq starred as one of the main characters in “Blue Chips” alongside Orlando Magic teammate Penny Hardaway Jr. and actor Nick Nolte. Hall of Famers Larry Bird and Bob Cousy also made appearances. The film earned a mixed reception from audiences.
“Kaazam,” on the other hand, was a much bigger success as the movie grossed over $19 million in the box office. Shaq plays Kaazam, a genie who appears from a magic box to grant an adolescent boy three wishes.
Along with making appearances on the big screen, Shaq has also featured in shows and video games. Other than being a constant feature on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” Shaq has made multiple appearances at WWE events. Diesel has featured in reality TV shows like “Fear Factor” and MTV’s “Jackass” as well.
In 2009, on ABC, O’Neal starred in his own reality show called “Shaq Vs.,” which showcased O’Neal taking on other athletes in their own sports. TruTV then signed a deal with O’Neal to make a comedy series called “Upload with Shaquille O’Neal.” It premiered in 2013 and ran for one season, with the first episode generating more than a million viewers.
The former Magic, LA Lakers and Miami Heat superstar’s appearance in video games includes famous games like NBA Live 96, NBA 2K6, NBA 2K7, etc. He also holds an unlockable character in UFC Undisputed 2010. Shaq has also starred in his own video game called “Shaq Fu,” which had a sequel named “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn” released in 2018.
While Shaq’s on-court exploits are legendary, his varied off-court endeavors have resulted in building an empire.