Arts & Culture News

Shaq Watch: Shaquille O' Neal Is Spotted Around DFW Doing Good Deeds

Shaq's fast-casual chicken spot came to Texas, and so did the basketball legend.
Shaq's fast-casual chicken spot came to Texas, and so did the basketball legend. courtesy of Big Chicken
The city of Carrollton just got taller. Standing 7 feet and 1 inch tall, Carrollton's newest resident can’t be missed. Shaquille O’Neal purchased a modest (for a multimillionaire), home in Denton County in May. Since then, the gentle giant has been seen around town showing neighborly love by blessing his fellow North Texans with money, selfies, advice and free appliances.

On July 3, media company Hot Freestyle wrote about O’Neal's stop at a Dallas Best Buy.
After chatting with a family at the store, O'Neal was seen paying for a washer and 75-inch television for a family of four.

“I just want to make people happy,” Shaq said to Page Six about his spontaneous gift-giving.

Days later, social media was flooded with excited comments from fans over a sighting in downtown Carrollton, after Hot Freestyle shared a video of the basketball legend giving a woman food on July 6.
 
In the video, O’Neal is heard asking the woman if she needs money, and she responds, "Just a couple of dollars." O’Neal asks "How about $100?"

To fans' delight, O’Neal is not staying hidden. Then again, with a stature rivaling a skyscraper's, how can he? On Friday, O’Neal dined at Keg Steakhouse and graciously took photos with the staff.

The next day, Carrollton police jumped in on the "Shaqtion." A Carrollton police officer received a shocker when O’Neal pulled up beside him to say hello. O’Neal introduced himself and took a photo with the officer. In addition, O’Neal, now a TNT studio analyst, made a stop at Roanoke’s Tidwell Middle School where he shared his expansive knowledge of basketball with campers.
O’Neal is wasting no time getting acquainted with suburban life. His new home is quite the contrast from his former residence in Florida. His Carrollton mansion listed in April for $1,224,900, although the selling price has not been disclosed, and it's a fraction of the size of his massive estate in Florida.

Last year, O’Neal sold his 31,000-square-foot Windermere home for $11 million. He traded it in for a 5,300-square-foot Carrollton home with five bedrooms and five baths. It’ll be quite the neighborhood BBQ now that the 15-time NBA All Star has set down roots.

The purchase comes after the announcement that the Hall of Famer’s fried chicken sandwich fast food restaurant, Big Chicken’s, was expanding to Texas.

It's likely that North Texas will continue to see similar good deeds from the renowned athlete. O’Neal is known to be a man of the people, and many have benefited from his penchant for giving prior to O’Neal’s relocation to DFW.

On June 27, he did an interview with Brooklyn’s TikTok kid reporter and actress Jazlyn Guerra, which went viral with 4.6 million views.
@iamjazzysworldtv @ShaqDieselONeal is a man of his word. Thank you so much For blessing me I am very grateful Full Interview drops Wednesday on Youtube .#shaq #funny #interview #fyp #foryoupage #foryou #blackgirlmagic #panama #nyc #newark #jersey #brooklyn #lakers #losangeles #cali #kobe #fun #kidsofinstagram #blackexcellence #blm #aftolatina #reporter #cool #viral #generous #newyorkcity #music #dj ♬ original sound - Jazzy
The duo reminisced about a past encounter. Then, O’Neal kept his end of a bet by handing the 11-year-old a wad of money. And O’Neal also tapped into his fatherly side with wholesome advice.

“Don’t take nothing else from strangers, got it?” O’Neal told Jazlyn in the TikTok. “Make sure you listen to your mommy and daddy, and I’m so proud of you.”

Here's hoping that we'll get a set by DJ Diesel, O’Neal’s DJ alias, in Deep Ellum soon.
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Desiree Gutierrez is a music and culture intern at the Dallas Observer. Equipped with her education from Dallas College Brookhaven Campus and the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism, Desiree has transformed the ability to overthink just about anything into a budding career in journalism.