As a 15x All-Star, 14x All-NBA player, and 4x NBA Champion, Shaquille O'Neal is easily one of the biggest names in basketball.
After retiring in 2011, and securing his place in NBA history, he went on to become a highly successful figure in the media and businesses world, putting his money into several projects as he made frequent appearances behind the camera as a league analyst.
Despite his fame, O'Neal doesn't want to be seen as a typical celebrity. Instead, he insisted that fans stop associating him with that "crazy" group.
“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” O’Neal told The New York Post.
“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
Shaq has always been a down-to-earth type of guy. Even after achieving success in the NBA and business world, he has never really changed his lifestyle or attitude.
"All my life, everyone probably gets stereotyped, but us celebrities, we get stereotyped because most of these celebrities are out of their mind. I don’t do that. I’m a regular person that listened, followed his dreams and made it,” he said.
I came from nothing. But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way. So I don’t want to be in that category of people.
When they talk about Shaq, what do you say? ‘He’s a nice guy.’ Because what else can you be? You’re either nice or you’re the A-word, and I definitely won’t be looked at as the A-word,” he said.
"I want people to say, ‘Bro, he’s nice. He didn’t have an entourage. His people didn’t take my phone because I took a picture and threw it.'”
The thing is, Shaq isn't just all talk. Over the years, he has proven to be selfless with his money, donating to certain causes and charities that he feels will make the world a better place.
Let's also not forget the time when he paid for a random stranger's engagement ring at the jewelry store.
"I saw a guy come him, he was just shy. He was saying 'hey, how much do I owe to pay off my rent?' I was like 'my man, how much is the ring?' I'm not gonna say the amount but it's not enough for me. This is something that I do every day. The other day, me and my mom went furniture shopping and this lady had an autistic daughter. She was also looking to pay for some furniture and I just took care of it, so I'm into making people happy so whenever I leave the house, I just try to do good deed."
Today, celebrities often keep themselves separated from the rest of the world, choosing to live in luxury and ignorance.
There's nothing inherently wrong with that way of life, but it's also a life that "The Diesel" wants nothing to do with.