Shaquille O’Neal’s DJ skills get ripped in music review: ‘Better at shooting free throws’

Orel Dizon
4 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is a man of many talents, having tried his hand at various artistic pursuits.

It seems that for the past decade or so, O’Neal has immersed himself in the world of EDM and started his journey as a DJ, calling himself DJ Diesel. One of his recent gigs saw him turn up at 2023 Outside Lands, a three-day festival held in San Francisco, Calif.

As it turns out, he might need to hone his DJ skills further as a review published by the Mercury News claims that the former NBA MVP is better at shooting free throws than putting on a show as a DJ.

“Shaquille O’Neal is better at shooting free throws than he is at DJing,” Jim Harrington wrote.

“And for those who didn’t follow his Basketball Hall of Fame career, the big guy was certainly no Steph Curry when it came to the stripe.

“O’Neal did, however, draw a massive crowd to watch his best attempts at playing DJ during a set that felt like it might never end on an otherwise-very-entertaining Day 1 (Aug. 11) of Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

“O’Neal’s grooves were weak, mismatching his samples and sounds in ways that were rarely compelling. His reliance on big beats was more tiring than inspiring. And he truly seemed at a loss on how to command a crowd, instead settling for what appeared to be an attempt at setting a new world record for repeating the phrase ‘hands up’ the most times in a single performance.

“The big 7-footer — who won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat — was even a bit tardy taking the stage.

“‘Sorry I was late, I was chilling with Steph Curry and Draymond Green,’ O’Neal told the crowd. ‘Where my [Golden State] Warriors fans at?'”

As far as bad reviews go, that may be one of the worst O’Neal can get.

After all, shooting from the charity stripe was his Achilles heel during his playing career. He was so abysmal from the line that he registered a shooting clip of less than 50 percent from there during some seasons. His worst campaign in that department came in the 2006-07 season, when he shot 42.2 percent.

Furthermore, the four-time champion’s struggles with free throws gave opponents an effective defensive strategy wherein they intentionally fouled O’Neal to put him at the line instead of allowing him the opportunity to score inside the paint.

The “Hack-a-Shaq” method proved effective in some playoff series, particularly when Gregg Popovich had his San Antonio Spurs squad internationally foul the big man during the first round of the 2008 playoffs, resulting in O’Neal making his way to the stripe 20 times in Game 5. He made only nine. As such, the Spurs were able to eliminate the Phoenix Suns.

Of course, O’Neal isn’t the only player who’s ever been on the receiving end of the defensive tactic. Other players to deal with it include Ben Wallace, Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond.

It’s unclear if O’Neal will respond to the negative review. Perhaps the 15-time All-Star can make up for it with his rapping skills, which have received plenty of praise in the past.

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