Shaquille O’Neal was known for overpowering opponents and racking up points — 28,596 of them, to be exact — throughout his NBA career, but he has also handed out some terrific assists off the court.
A video recently surfaced showing the Hall of Fame center footing the bill for a stranger’s engagement ring at an Atlanta-area Zales jewelry store. As he explained during Tuesday’s edition of the “NBA on TNT,” O’Neal saw a man discussing payment options for the ring and decided to jump into the conversation.
“I see the 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. “I was like, ‘My man, how much is the ring?'”
O’Neal, who entered the Zales looking to purchase earrings, can be seen in the viral video handing a store associate his credit card to cover the cost, which O’Neal chose not to disclose. (When TNT colleague and former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade joked about O’Neal going to Zales, Shaq reminded him that he has his own jewelry line with the retailer.)
The man wanted to put the ring on layaway, Shaq said, but the 15-time All-Star wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“He was like, ‘Man, I can’t do it,'” O’Neal said. “I said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I do it all the time.’ I’m just trying to make people smile. That’s all.”
Mission accomplished. Well done, big fella.