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Shaq Uncle Jerome: Shaquille O’Neal Once Revealed How His 6’3 Security Guard Could Calm Him Down

Shubham Singh

Shaq Uncle Jerome: Shaquille O'Neal Once Revealed How His 6'3 Security Guard Could Calm Him Down

When Shaquille O’Neal decided to join the Los Angeles Lakers, the stakes of winning were so high that the losses often drove Shaq into a fit of violent rage. Therefore, he needed someone to compose him and ensure that his anger didn’t get out of control. As a result, the big man hired 6’3” Jerome Crawford as his bodyguard, which helped him fix many of his anger management ordeals alongside some viable security cover.

In a recent YouTube clip from Shaq’s 2022 HBO documentary, the big fella can be seen explaining how Crawford, whom he affectionately calls “Uncle Jerome”, is the sole person who can mitigate his angry outbursts. As much as he respects his mother Lucille O’Neal, even she could not contain her son’s anger like Uncle Jerome could.

There’s only one guy who can help calm me down, that’s Uncle Jerome. He knows me, he helped raise me. He understands me. He’s the only one that when I get to 10, nobody else in America, my mama can’t even bring me to 0,” Shaq revealed.

Later in the clip, Jerome Crawford touched upon how Shaq resented losing. When the 7’1” Center didn’t get the desired results, he was often “tearing stuff” and “turning over tables”. For Crawford, these outbursts were a result of extreme media and fan scrutiny typical in Los Angeles. 

In those games when he first went to LA, when the team lost, the focus was always on Shaq. You know that’s a lot of weight to carry but that’s why they pay them the big bucks, you gotta carry the weight,” Crawford added.

However, thanks to Uncle Jerome, the Lakers Center was able to turn it around and haul in three straight titles for the franchise in the early 2000s. Shaq will forever to grateful to Uncle Jerome and his late father, Phillip Harrison for stopping him from destroying his life because of anger bursts.

But what circumstances led Shaq to the man who helped him stay calm?

The Shaquille O’Neal-Jerome Crawford Story

Shaquille O’Neal and Jerome Crawford met in 1989 when the latter was working as a cop for the Newark, New Jersey Police Department. Crawford was dealing with one of the toughest cities to police and thus had vast experience in dealing with the most difficult situations. Shaq’s real uncle Michael Perris urged him to hire Crawford to avoid unwanted situations in LA. 

Since Crawford had already acted as a cover for renowned boxer Ray Mercer, he came in with the experience to guard a celebrity of O’Neal’s stature. The two developed a terrific mutual bond and in a 2001 interview with Times Herald-Record, the Lakers superstar relayed how close he is to the man who ensures he doesn’t run into trouble.

He keeps me going, he keeps me out of trouble. And he’s family. Not really family, but he’s family,” Shaq told Times Herald-Record.

As someone who gives credit to his near and dear ones, Shaq decided to name a dish in his Big Chicken restaurant after Jerome Crawford. On the Big Chicken menu, a spicy Nashville sandwich is marked as “Uncle Jerome”. 

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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