It seems that while Shaquille O'Neal is undoubtedly famous, the Hall of Fame big man prefers not to see himself as a "celebrity."
In a recent interview with the New York Post, O'Neal bashed celebrity culture and said he does not want to be referred to as one.
Interestingly, while O'Neal did the interview partially to promote his new ad campaign with Kellogg's, the four-time NBA champion said he'd rather be known first and foremost for his kindness.
“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” O’Neal said.
“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”
Since retiring from the NBA, O'Neal has maintained a high profile by starring in commercials for several major companies and working as an analyst for the NBA on TNT. He certainly hasn't shied away from the spotlight.
However, judging by his comments, O'Neal rejects the notion that he is a celebrity because of his behavior and outlook, even if he has the requisite fame.