NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal had many people wondering if he was okay after he posted a photo of himself laying in a hospital bed on his Twitter feed Sunday night. The star center later came back online to quell any fears that it was something too serious.
The big man added an image that showed him resting in a medical facility, wearing a gown and cap. He said that while he was there, he was watching colleagues Ernie Johnson and Candace Parker as they were broadcasting NCAA Tournament coverage.
The 51-year-old legend is reportedly fine, as he’s merely having hip surgery. Ernie Johnson had mentioned it in passing, and it was later verified by Shaq himself online.
However, that didn’t stop hoops heads all over the world from going into panic mode for a bit. Before the Shaq situation was clarified, some messages of concern were pouring out. That prompted Shaquille O’Neal to respond to his fans in his own, classic fashion.
O’Neal expressed appreciation for fans’ and friends’ concerns and well wishes. The four-time NBA Champion clarified that he needed a hip replacement. Then, in his usual whimsical way, Shaq added an edited video of him showing his backside to former Lakers teammate Rick Fox.
“to all the people who are worried and concerned. first off, let me say thank you. And lastly no need to worry, just had to get some BBL WORK AKA #hipreplacement. Thanks and love you all. but no need to worry and yes i’m fine,” O’Neal wrote.
to all the people who are worried and concerned. first off , let me say thank you. And lastly no need to worry, just had to get some BBL WORK AKA #hipreplacement. Thanks and love you all. but no need to worry and yes i’m fine. pic.twitter.com/cnmLn58YDy
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) March 21, 2023
The number-one overall selection in the 1992 NBA Draft, Shaquille O’Neal was a sensation following three years at Louisiana State University. The Orlando Magic phenom would grab Rookie of the Year honors and form an outstanding duo with fellow young All-Star Anfernee Hardaway.
However, it was in Los Angeles that he became a champion and a cultural icon. Playing alongside the late, great Kobe Bryant, the duo won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002, before team turmoil in Tinsel Town caused their young dynasty to fall apart.
Shaq would wind down his career in 2011, and go on to be elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Since then he’s become known worldwide for his antics as part of the NBA on TNT telecasts with fellow panelists Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith.
He’s also one of the world’s most widely-recognized pitch men, endorsing several products, including The General Auto Insurance, Gold Bond Medicated Powder, and Icy Hot. Due to his massive appeal, Forbes estimated his net worth to be approximately $400 million heading into 2023.