Forget Los Angeles … Shaq says if he were a young baller in today’s NBA — his next free agency contract would be with the Knicks!!!
“If I was a youngster, Madison Avenue would be turning into Shaq Avenue.”
It’s interesting … seeing as EVERY big-name free agent over the last several years has passed on the Knicks for other (mostly Golden State-colored) pastures.
But, the Diesel tells us he doesn’t understand why dudes aren’t just lining up to play in Madison Square Garden.
“People always talk about business and business after basketball. Knicks don’t have a star player, so any superstar that comes there, Madison Avenue is going to open up them doors.”
That could change soon … while the free agent market ain’t exactly warm for NY next summer — a high draft pick could be in the cards.
Does that mean Zion Williamson could be the next Knicks superstar?? We know one guy who’d love to see that …
Shaquille O’Neal is calling for people to back off Kevin Hart … saying he shouldn’t have to keep apologizing for his old homophobic jokes and wants everyone to “just move on.”
“Some people feel he made a mistake,” Shaq said … “He apologized for his mistake. I always thought comedians were allowed to crack jokes.”
“Anyone that knows Kevin Hart should know that anything he said was never malicious.”
Of course, Shaq is referring to some of Hart’s tweets and stand-up bits from 2009 to 2011 — when the comic described how he’d react if he found out his son was gay.
“Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay,'” Hart tweeted in 2009.
The material resurfaced after Hart was named the host of the 2019 Academy Awards — and after a backlash online and a demand for renewed apologies, Hart pulled out of the show and only apologized after stepping down.
“He shouldn’t have to keep apologizing,” Shaq said … “He apologized twice.”
“People should just move on. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Of course, Shaq and Kev go way back — Hart was a headliner Shaq’s All-Star Comedy Jam back in 2009 and they’ve been friends ever since.
Shaq’s not the only big star who’s come to Hart’s defense — Ellen DeGeneres also went to bat for the comic … backing Kev’s stance that he’s evolved and said it’s his right to host the Oscars.
Shaquille O’Neal says the shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes is such a sad tragedy, he couldn’t imagine the family having to raise money for the funeral … and that’s why he stepped in.
“With something that terrible to have happened, I don’t want people to have to worry about trying to raise a few thousand to pay for a funeral,” Shaq explained.
As we previously reported, huge stars like Shaq and Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins opened their wallets to help out Jazmine’s family after she was senselessly shot and killed during a morning drive with her family.
Jazmine — along with her mother and sisters — were going on a coffee run in Houston around 7 AM on Dec. 30 when two men in a pickup truck pulled up next to the car and opened fire.
Jazmine was killed. Her mother was shot but survived. Her sisters were wounded by shattered glass.
Jazmine was laid to rest on Tuesday at the Community of Faith Church in Houston in front of roughly 1,000 mourners.
Cops have arrested the two suspects.
By the way, this isn’t the first time Shaq has reached into his pockets to help a family in need — we’ve covered a bunch of stories over the years featuring the ex-NBA star using his own funds to help people.
It helps that he reportedly made more than $ 280 mil during his NBA career — but also, he continues to work his ass off.
In fact, Shaq recently signed a deal to become the global ambassador for Zyppah — a product that helps people who suffer from sleep apnea.
2:09 PM PT — According to the police report — obtained by TMZ — PP was spotted weaving in and out of traffic in an SUV at a speed estimated to be over 100 MPH. Cops say they pulled him over and ordered PP out of the vehicle and cuffed him … he then stated his name was Pleasure P from Pretty Ricky.
Cops say PP reeked like booze, and it was so bad, they had to roll down the windows of the police car to air it out. The report says the singer was given a breath test once back at the station — where he blew a .176 and then a .175 — more than twice the legal limit.
And get this — cops say while he was getting booked, PP asked to call Shaq and the rapper FLO RIDA — a request that was denied.
Pleasure P — a member of the R&B group Pretty Ricky — joked about telling the devil to go back to hell ’cause he had some birthday celebrating to do … and hours later he was busted for DUI.
Pleasure P, who turned 34, was busted in Miami Friday morning and booked for DUI, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving and resisting an officer. Pleasure P — who left the group in 2007 for a solo career — was released after posting bail.
It’s interesting … Pleasure P posted a video on Instagram to thank his more than 325k followers for the birthday wishes. He captioned it, “My birthday started off a little slow which is why I haven’t been posting the devil was trying to work, but I told his ass to go back to hell because I got some celebrating to do.”
Here’s some great news going into your holiday weekend … Shareef O’Neal could be back on the UCLA basketball court in 4 to 5 months!
… this according to his dad, Shaq.
The Diesel was at the Magic Wheels Toy Giveaway in L.A. doing his Santa Shaq thing (awesome, btw) when he gave us the update on his son who underwent heart surgery on Dec. 13th.
As we previously reported, UCLA doctors detected an abnormality during a routine check up and advised O’Neal that a heart procedure was crucial.
Shaq told us Shareef is continuing to focus on his recovery and hopes to be back on the floor as early as April — which is fantastic news!
There’s more … Shaq also weighed in on Lil Wayne recently saying he thinks Kobe Bryant is better than Michael Jordan.
When we asked Shaq to pick his #1 — he went with someone else entirely … not Magic Johnson, not LeBron, not himself!
But the best part of this clip is the great work Shaq continues to do in the community — making sure every kid has a Merry Christmas!
Shaq has been doing toy drives for 26 YEARS — and you can tell from the video … he’s just as passionate about helping out now as he was when he started.