Isn't' Shaquille O' Neal that one big guy who plays basketball on TV? Yes, Shaq is a legendary basketball player with outstanding statistics, a four-time NBA champion, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, the overall number one draft pick in the NBA in 1992 who had played in the Olympics and made 15 All-Star Appearances.
Shaq Uncut: My Story is a 304-page autobiography written by Shaquille O'Neal and published by Grand Central in 2011. Shaq says, “For more than twenty-five years, people have been scrutinizing me. It’s time for you to hear from me what makes Shaquille O’ Neal. I’m ready to let you inside so you can understand where my journey has taken me and how it has shaped me as a man, not just a basketball player. People always say I’m bigger than…show more content… He was not always one of the richest athletes in the world. In fact, Shaq was very poor. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey and lived in the projects, where he was always surrounded by bad influences like drug dealers and gang members. His mother struggled to clothe and feed his family of six and keep up to date with her bills. They were always moving constantly from place to place. Shaq could barely afford a pair of sneakers. Shaq says, “Once in a while, I’d close my eyes and I’d dream I was one of those drug dealers on the corner, they always had money” (11). Shaq was bullied, teased, and made fun of a lot. Although, you would think that Shaq’s huge size was a blessing a plus for him, it was actually one of his biggest problems and insecurities. Shaq had Osgood-Schlatter disease. He would get teased for re-wearing his clothing because his family could not afford to keep buying him new shoes or clothing even though he was growing very fast. His mother would have to bring his birth certificate everywhere, even McDonalds, to prove his age. He was always called names. He worked his way around it. He found the hobby of break dancing so people would stop concentrating on his size, He became a fabulous dancer and everyone loved him. Shaq shows us to overcome the world around us.…show more content… Shaq is a natural leader and his personality is his greatest weapon. Shaq says, “I was in demand all the time. i did a lot of endorsements, but I also made sure I made time for the community. That was very important to me” (100). When he first signed to his contract and got a large load of money, he just spent it on his grandma, mom, dad, and siblings. They would always try to deny his generosity, but he insisted. He never was caught up. He kept it real. One time, Shaq drove by and saw a few guys playing street ball and he was interested, so he just stops his car and joins in the game. He says, “like doing things like that. I like talking to people” (96). Whenever there was a sick or terminally ill person who wanted to meet a Magic player, it would be him. He also did the “Shaqsgiving Dinner” for homeless people and started a foundation in his grandmother's memory, “Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund”, which helps nursing students further their education. He had a soft spot, especially for children. He would do anything for them. He loves them and works so well with them because when he was young, he took the job of taking care of all his siblings and the house. On Thanksgiving, Shaq nearly served dinner to nearly 800 low-income children. He happily took orders for kids’ Christmas wants. He bought every single video game in the store, which nearly cause a Toys R Us riot. A child asked him