Shaquille O'Neal Served with Papers for Major Lawsuits While Broadcasting NBA Playoff Game
It’s difficult to imagine a man with the size and fame of Shaquille O’Neal sneaking around anything — let alone doing so for three entire months.
And yet, as The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, that’s how long it took for the 7-foot-1, 325-pound NBA legend to be tracked down and served papers as part of the fallout of the FTX cryptocurrency scandal that has engulfed numerous celebrities.
The incident happened Tuesday during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and host Miami Heat.
The 116-99 Celtics win was broadcast on TNT. O’Neal was there as one of the co-hosts of “Inside the NBA,” the postgame studio show that goes on location during the conference finals.
Adam Moskowitz, a lawyer representing the FTX investors suing the various celebrities — including O’Neal — called it “absurd” that his firm had to, in effect, ambush the Hall of Famer at work.
“It seems absurd to have to go to such great lengths to serve Mr. O’Neal,” Moskowitz told the Journal.
According to Moskowitz, the process server had to buy a ticket to the game on Tuesday before approaching O’Neal on the set from which he was commentating.
While it’s unknown whether the process server approached the 51-year-old O’Neal while he was in the middle of speaking, Moskowitz claimed that the NBA legend ultimately had the process server thrown out of the arena, implying that it happened during TNT’s broadcast of the game.
Regardless, for O’Neal, this appears to be the conclusion of a sordid three-month saga involving his association with the disgraced FTX cryptocurrency exchange company.
Process servers had spent months trying to deliver the summons to him, according to the Journal.
The servers went to O’Neal’s homes in Georgia and Texas as well as to the TNT studio in Atlanta.
One wild incident in Georgia involved servers throwing court papers at O’Neal’s vehicle as he was driving away from his Georgia home.
His lawyers argued that those particular court papers were not properly served to the retired NBA star.
Unsurprisingly, O’Neal is looking to have the entire case dismissed, though that appears to be over after a judge ultimately denied the motions to dismiss.
Although the Heat-Celtics game was broadcast nationally, a search failed to turn up any video of O’Neal being served on the TNT set — not even a blurry cellphone video.
In one last ironic twist, this entire spectacle of O’Neal being served in the midst of an NBA playoffs broadcast happened in the arena formerly known as FTX Arena.
The arena now goes by Kaseya Center after the scandalous FTX debacle, which led to fraud and conspiracy charges against the company’s founder and CEO, disgraced Democratic mega-donor Sam Bankman-Fried.
This is the second time the Moskowitz law firm has claimed to have served O’Neal.
In April, it tweeted about serving him outside of his house:
UPDATE: Plaintiffs in the billion $ FTX class action case just served @SHAQ outside his house. His home video cameras recorded our service and we made it very clear that he is not to destroy or erase any of these security tapes, because they must be preserved for our lawsuit.
— The Moskowitz Law Firm (@moskowitzesq) April 17, 2023
O’Neal, meanwhile, has been mum on the thorny legal matter, although he did appear to broach the topic when speaking with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry on the TNT broadcast. Curry also has been implicated in the FTX scandal.
“You’re my favorite player,” he told Curry. “I just want to say congratulations my brother and thanks for getting me in trouble. Don’t say nothing.”
O’Neal also has been implicated in a separate cryptocurrency lawsuit, also being handled by the Moskowitz firm, over the Astrals Project, which sells nonfungible tokens.
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