Shaquille O’Neal liked to channel his inner Superman (the Hall of Famer’s bicep tattoo shows his admiration for the “Man of Steel”) playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat over his 19-year NBA career, but the kind-hearted seven-footer has been known to lend a helping hand off the court as well. The All-Star center-turned TNT commentator paid it forward Monday, stopping to help a woman on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida. According to the Associated Press, O’Neal saw the woman was stranded after blowing out her tire and decided to stay with her until police arrived. The hoops legend greeted Alachua County deputies at the scene, explaining the woman’s predicament to the two responding officers before heading on his way.
Fans familiar with O’Neal’s work know The Big Aristotle has always held a strong interest in law enforcement. Shaq has previously held positions with the Los Angeles Port Police, Miami Beach Police and Clayton County Sheriff’s Department in Jonesboro, Georgia. More recently, the 48-year-old O’Neal assisted a woman who fainted in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan this past January, helping block off traffic until an ambulance arrived.
O’Neal’s qualifications as a Good Samaritan are undeniable, but will his latest good deed be enough for TNT colleague/rival Charles Barkley to bump him into his top 10 players of all-time? Knowing Chuck’s delight in getting under Shaq’s skin, I wouldn’t count on it.