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How Lakers Teammates’ Lack of Contribution to Help a Woman Made Shaquille O’Neal Realise Major Fault in NBA Players

Keshav Kumar Keshu

How Lakers Teammates' Lack of Contribution to Help a Woman Made Shaquille O'Neal Realise Major Fault in NBA Players

Over the years, Shaquille O’Neal has gone out of his way to help those in need and given back to the community. His generosity has aptly complemented his larger-than-life persona, which is now a glowing representation of his brand. However, Shaq was once surprised to find out that most NBA players didn’t share his beliefs on giving back to society. All this transpired after he received a letter from a woman with disability.

In his 2011 autobiography – Shaq Uncut: My Story‘, Shaq talked about his fellow NBA players’ ignorance towards helping the needy. We have seen a lot of foundations started by NBA players that are dedicated to various noble causes. However, according to the big man, these so-called foundations are just a front to save taxes.

Credits: USA TODAY Sports

While he did mention that a few players display generosity, Shaq believed that most NBA players simply didn’t care enough to facilitate the real changes that they were capable of making. Shaq noted in his book how he came to this realization:

One time I was in the Lakers locker room and I got this letter from this handicapped woman. I shout out to the guys, “Hey, this lady needs help. She’s in a wheelchair and she needs a van. It costs sixty thousand dollars. Anybody want to chip in?” Silence. Not one guy. I bought the van for her myself.”

The Los Angeles Lakers legend narrated the story of how he had proposed an idea to pool money to help the handicapped lady with a van. The incident took place in the Lakers locker room and according to the Hall of Famer, there was not a single helping hand. None of the players, who are on millions of dollars worth of contracts, batted an eye or spoke a word. This led to Shaq buying the van all by himself.

Shaq is often spotted in stores like Walmart and Best Buy, looking to make someone’s day by paying for their purchase. He has helped people buy furniture, and vehicles and has even helped a young man once by paying for his engagement ring. The NBA player donates as much as possible through charities and foundations, while enjoying a content lifestyle. He has set an example for the younger generation of NBA players, earning millions of dollars, hoping that they continue the good work.

What motivates Shaquille O’Neal to give back to society?

So what motivates Shaq to do the work that he does? In an interview with ‘People‘ magazine in 2021, the NBA superstar talked about his motivation to contribute to society. Here is what he said:

“I had a meeting with my mother, Dr. Lucille O’Neal, and she was like, ‘Baby, you’ve done everything I’ve asked you to do. I think you should go about every day just making somebody smile and making somebody happy.’ So I take pride in each and every day by just making one person smile, whether it’s one person or whether it’s a hundred people or whether it’s a thousand people.”

The player has seen a lot of adversity growing up and understands how difficult life can be without having a strong financial background. He is deeply affected by the suffering of others and tries to do as much as he can. Hence, Shaq wants to do his part to support children and bring families back on track.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Keshav Kumar Keshu

Keshav Kumar Keshu


An NBA journalist for The SportsRush, Keshav is a basketball fanatic and has been since the age of 10 when he first got introduced to the game. Since then, his love for the game has increased exponentially to the point its become an obsessive compulsion. He has been diligently following the NBA for more than a decade now and is a huge Golden State Warriors fan. Keshav has written over 250+ articles about the NBA.

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