Shaquille O'Neal Pays Off Engagement Ring for Fan: 'I'm Just Trying to Make People Smile'

"This is something I do every day," Shaquille O'Neal told NBA on TNT of making people's dreams come true by helping them out with purchases

Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty

Shaquille O'Neal's generosity continues.

The NBA legend made a man's day this week when he whipped out his card for an engagement ring the customer was purchasing at a Zales store, where O'Neal happens to have his own jewelry collection.

"I seen a guy come in — he was just so shy and he was saying, 'Hey, how much do I owe to pay off my ring?' " O'Neal said during Wednesday's NBA on TNT of the unforgettable moment.

"And I was like, 'How much is the ring?' " the athlete recalled of what he said before stepping in and generously paying off the jewelry.

A video posted by Instagram account @shaqfu_radio on Tuesday shows the moment when O'Neal gives his card to the cashier, before shaking the hand of the grateful customer and giving him a supportive pat on the shoulder.

"I always get off 30 minutes before you come in here," the cashier good-naturedly tells O'Neal about his own excitement over seeing the basketball icon in person.

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On Wednesday's episode of NBA on TNT, O'Neal humbly insisted the gesture wasn't something new and, in fact, was similar to acts of kindness he strives to perform "every day."

"The other day, me and my mom went furniture shopping, and this lady, she had [a daughter with autism] and she was looking to pay for some furniture. I just took care of her," he said. "Whenever I leave the house, I just try to do a good deed."

"I didn't mean for [the ring story] to get out, 'cause I don't do it for that," he continued. "I'm just trying to make people smile, that's all."

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O'Neal has a documented history of helping those less financially fortunate — like in 2019, when he provided a new home for the family of a 12-year-old boy who was paralyzed in an Atlanta shooting.

In January 2020, following the then-recent deaths of Kobe Bryant and, previously, O'Neal's sister, O'Neal interacted with a fan named Patrick Martin at a Best Buy store in McDonough, Georgia, where Martin's words to the athlete seemed to make quite an impact.

"Me and Mo just went to Best Buy to buy a laptop and we meet Shaq. We gave our condolences for his sister and Kobe. We walked off, then Shaq comes to us and says, 'I like ya'll, so get the nicest one in here and I'll pay for it,' " Martin detailed in a Facebook post that went viral and was sent to PEOPLE by Best Buy.

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