Shaquille O’Neal was once one of the biggest basketball stars in the world, and he maintains that stardom even as he took on the role of broadcaster in his post-game career.
But don’t you dare call him a celebrity.
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The Basketball Hall of Famer told People in an interview Wednesday that he parted ways with that label years ago and doesn’t want to be around those kinds of people anymore.
«I sued myself for being a celebrity thirty years ago because a lot of celebrities are idiots,» said the former Los Angeles Lakers star.
«I don’t want to be in that category. I’d rather degrade myself to a normal person than call me a celebrity and put me in the category of those idiots.»
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O’Neal said something similar in an interview with the New York Post in 2021.
«These celebrities are going crazy, and I don’t want to be one. I’m reporting my celebrity today. I’m done,» the former center said at the time.
«I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are crazy about how they treat people, what they do, what they say.» That has never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.»
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O’Neal has returned to TNT after undergoing hip replacement surgery.