NBA great Shaquille O'Neal was recently in an Atlanta-area jewelry store and he ended up buying an engagement ring — but it wasn't so he could propose to anyone. The former Laker saw a man buying a ring and offered to purchase it for him.
The gesture was caught on camera and the video quickly went viral. Shaq is seen slyly taking out his credit card and handing it to the store clerk as the stranger was getting ready to pay. The two shook hands and posed for a photo after.
The basketball star turned sports commentator spoke about gift during the NBA aftershow on TNT Tuesday night. "This happened yesterday. I was in Zales looking for some new earrings, and I saw a guy," Shaq told his co-hosts.
After some joking about the fact that the hall-of-famer still goes shopping himself, Shaq told his co-hosts what happened next. "I saw the guy, he was just so shy. He was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off the ring.'"
That's when Shaq swooped in and offered to cover it.
"This is something I do every day," Shaq said, adding that he and his mother were recently furniture shopping and he offered to pay for a mom who had an autistic daughter. "I'm into making people happy. So, whenever I leave the house, I just try to," he said.
Shaq said the man buying the ring was a "young kid, a hardworking guy" and the ring was on layaway. "I said, 'You know what, tell your girlfriend I got it. Take care of her.' And at first he didn't want to take it," Shaq said. He told the man not to worry, he does it all the time.
"I'm just trying to make people smile," he said.