Shaq pulled off the act of kindness when he was visiting a Zales shopping mall recently.
Shaquille O'Neal, or Shaq as fans lovingly call him, is a gentle giant with a heart as big and generous as his body. Recently, he proved just how much of a stand-up guy he is by surprising an unsuspecting stranger with an amazing gesture. Shaq was at Zales shopping mall earlier in the week when a young man was discussing the details of paying off his engagement ring. The man conversed with the jewelry store clerk about how much he owed for his ring and how long he'd take to pay it off completely, PEOPLE reports.
Unbeknownst to him, an extraordinarily large hand bearing a credit card appeared from behind him, asking to pay off the entire amount the man owed. That hand belonged to Shaq, the 7' 1" basketball legend. Reportedly, Shaq overheard the entire conversation between the clerk and the young man and decided he could brighten his day in an instant by taking care of the bill himself. He didn't seem to brag about it; there were no fans to applaud him at the store. He simply handed over his credit card, shook hands with the stunned but appreciative customer, patted his back, and walked out. A bystander who caught the touching moment on video shared it online and soon the story went viral like many of big Shaq's other acts of generosity. This even prompted the baller's co-hosts on NBA on TBT to ask him about it a day later.
My @SHAQ is a good guy moment: I stood behind him in line for a burrito sample at Costco once, and he only took one even though they probably would have let him take more. He didn’t even pull the “extra one for my kid/spouse/friend” stunt, which is generally accepted as a gimme.— Whit Honea (@whithonea) April 7, 2021
"I seen a guy come in — he was just so shy and he was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?' " O'Neal said, according to PEOPLE. "And I was like, 'How much is the ring?'" he recalled his brief conversation before paying off the jewelry. One of the bewildered hosts asked: "You went to the mall, and went to Zales?!?" pondering why a man worth $400 million would be hanging out at a tiny mall on a Monday. O'Neal replied that he has a jewelry line at Zales, and he went there to get some hoop earrings for himself.
O'Neal added that it's all an effort to do a positive thing everything he steps out of the house and shared another story of yet another good deed he did recently. "The other day, me and my mom went furniture shopping, and this lady, she had [a daughter with autism] and she was looking to pay for some furniture. I just took care of her," he said. "Whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed." He added: "I'm into making people happy," he said. "I didn't mean for that to get out because I don't do it for that...I'm just trying to make people smile, that's all."
Shaq's generosity over the years has been greatly documented even if he tries to keep things on the down-low. In a 2015 interview with Graham Bessinger, he explained that it was his father and mother who influenced him to do good even though they didn't have a whole lot themselves. He even remembered a lesson his dad taught him after handing his family's bag of hamburgers to a homeless veteran: "If you ever make it big time, make sure you help those in need." Despite his major success, Shaq tries to remember and live by those words, "because of what a man who made $30,000 a year taught me. And a woman who was a secretary who probably made $20,000 a year—they taught me that."I'm doing this because this is what I was taught," he said, adding that it comes "from the heart." "I'm doing it because to walk in there and see a family, put a smile on their face for a day, that's just awesome to me. That's my thing. I just want to make you smile," he said.