For his 46th birthday, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal decided to give away some of his money.
While the act of kindness is noble, it was O’Neal’s delivery method that turned heads.
In a video posted on social media Tuesday, Shaq revealed that he tied “a couple hundred dollars” to the various strings of a balloon bouquet before letting it fly.
He urged viewers to notify him if they ended up being the lucky recipient of his cash gift.
“Thanks for all the birthday wishes,” O’Neal wrote in the tweet, which he tagged with “moneyballonchallenge.”
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 6, 2018
Although the “Inside the NBA” analyst had his heart in the right place, many observers couldn’t help but point out the potential pitfalls of sticking a couple of Benjamin Franklins to a set of balloons and hoping it ends up in the hands of a fan.
@SHAQ Love the generosity but most of those will probably end up in the ocean and be a threat to marine life.
— chad nelsen 🌊 (@chadenelsen) March 6, 2018
Great gesture, but these most likely will end up in our Oceans.
— Ryan Broz (@RyanBroz) March 7, 2018
That is so sweet to give on a day that most ppl want things given to them …..BUT it would suck if it got stuck in a tree, lake or power line in the middle of no where. Smh
— Ms Foxxx (@Cheyenne_Foxxx) March 7, 2018
However, while criticisms were littered throughout the responses to his post, others took the time to praise the NBA legend for his generous gesture.
He one of the realist!! 💪🏽
— Rodd Evans (@MrWinnerr) March 6, 2018
That Was Truly Sweet !!😊😊💗..👏Mama Raise You Well,Instead Of Receiving You're Giving On Your BIRTHDAY☝☝👏Amen !!Awesome☝☝☝🌟🌟🎺🎺
— Tonja Faulkner (@TonjaFaukner) March 7, 2018
How can anyone honestly say they don't like @SHAQ. Keep being you big man.
— Briañ Hall (@Bigb52677) March 7, 2018
That's totally awesome…. Hope I am the lucky one!! Happy B-Day brother SHAQ
— Aaron Son/Smelling 6 (@aaronson828) March 7, 2018
The charitable act is far from being O’Neal’s first. While a dominant playing style and larger-than-life personality are typically the first traits that come to mind when people think of Shaq, his inclination to give and help others has also been a constant throughout his career in the spotlight.
He has raised more than $1 million for the Boys & Girls Club and in 2015 helped raise more than $5.8 million for Toys For Tots.
But O’Neal’s most notable charitable stunt is probably his “Shaq-A-Claus” routine in which he dresses up in a Santa outfit and delivers gifts to children of impoverished families.
And in an attempt to protect his community, O’Neal became Deputy Diesel after being sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy for the Clayton County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office in 2016.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.