Future NBA Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O’Neal has been described as basketball’s Renaissance Man in recent years. Retiring last year after playing almost 20 years in the league, his career netted him four Championships and also a place in the top ten of all time NBA scoring leaders. “The Big Aristotle,” as Shaq likes to dub himself, now has a new life as an analyst for TNT Sports.
During his NBA career, O’Neal also had plenty of off-the-court extracurricular activities. He was a big humanitarian, acting as an ambassador for the NBA in many ways with his colorful and hilarious “gentle giant” personality. He even had a rap “career,” which, the less said about it the better. AND, most memorably in the most bizarre way, he appeared as an Aladdin-the-hood in the 1996 fantasy-comedy film Kazaam. That film made Shaq fans around the world shake their collective heads, wondering why O’Neal would undertake such a crazy, ridiculous, so bad it’s good, hip hop genie in a bottle project. In this month’s GQ magazine, Shaq answers the question we’ve all been wondering about for so long.
“I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, ‘Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.’ What am I going to say, no?”
The film cost $20 million to make, nearly a third of it being Shaq’s salary, and didn’t even break even at the box office. BUT, it is remembered as a cinematic train wreck to gleefully relish, on par with Ben Affleck’s messy, pox-ridden 2003 A-bomb failure Gigli. Like Affleck’s career after that kettle of fish disaster with a capital D, Shaquille O’Neal has also obviously “rebounded” since his cinematic debacle as well, pun firmly intended.
Check out the video here below with scenes from Kazaam of Shaq rapping.