Shaq Life Finale

Koen Samuel, Editor-in-Chief

For the last five weeks on TNT, the documentary series Shaq Life has given people a chance to see what the life of retired NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is like. Shaq is not just a former basketball player; he’s a basketball analyst, a Papa John’s board member, and EDM DJ, and an amateur in UFC. The finale of the nine part series aired May 7, and it was jam packed with action.

The one-hour episode began with Shaq trying to whip his son Shaqir and nephew Columbus into shape. The three moved boxes of stuff from Shaq’s home to their storage crate nearby. One of Shaq’s goals throughout the series was to discipline and mature his son, who he admits was much like when he was a kid. But Shaq states that his father Sgt. Phillip Harrison whipped him into a respectable young man, which Shaq wanted to do with Shaqir. By the end of the episode his son had shown maturity, checking off the first box for Shaq.

The next thing on Shaq’s list was DJing a Lalapalooza, and EDM concert festival in Chicago. Shaq has been a DJ since he was a teenager, but many people deemed him a “celebrity DJ,” something that Shaq took personally. He rocked the huge crowd and earned people’s respect as a legit DJ, checking off the second box. 

Shaq then returned to Atlanta where he competed against Greg Hardy in a closed door UFC type match. Shaq had been learning and training to test his fighting skills. In the five minute match, he held his own and drew a burst of strength in the final seconds of the match to finish atop his opponent. 

The final objective on Shaq’s list was continuing the rebuild the image of Papa John’s. Throughout the series, one of Shaq’s priorities was restoring the brand name of the pizza chain after the incidents involving the former CEO and founder. Shaq’s mission as the first African-American on the board was to win back the trust of the people and show them that the company has changed. He opened up his own franchise in Atlanta and threw a block party that turned out to be quite a success. Better yet, he seemed to help the franchise begin to gain respect in the community. Check that box off too.

Aside from the crazy life he lives on the daily, Shaq emphasized throughout the series that he’s a normal guy just like everyone else. He strives to be a good father, challenges himself, and treats people with the same respect he’d like in return. His charitable acts throughout the episode show his compassion for humanity and his desire to make a difference for people of all ages. Best of all, fans finally got to see what it’s like to be Shaquille O’Neal, and it’s crazier than we thought.