Sportress of Blogitude

Shaquille O’Neal explains why he starred in the abysmal ‘Kazaam’

Shaquille O’Neal, during his prime as an NBA superstar, did not restrict himself only to being a star on the basketball court. The bigger-than-life NBAer was interested in pursuits from all across the spectrum, from getting involved in police work to pursuing opportunities in the world of pop culture, including appearing in commercials, rapping and starring in feature films.

One such film, Kazaam, where Shaq portrays a genie who emerges from a “magic” boombox to grant wishes, has been and remains universally panned as one of the cheesiest, lamest films ever to star a professional athlete, be it during their career or after their playing days were over. And that’s saying something, considering Brian Bosworth once tried his hand at acting.

Which brings us to the pressing question: why in the holy heck did Shaq ever agree to become involved in one of the worst abominations ever captured on celluloid? The big man addresses this perplexing curiosity, among a myriad of other topics, during a wide-ranging interview with QQ. His response:

You rapped for a second. You got into films for a second. Everyone remembers Kazaam. When was the last time you watched it?
Shaq:The other day.

GQ: Did it hold up to you?
Shaq: I was a medium-level juvenile delinquent from Newark who always dreamed about doing a movie. Someone said, “Hey, here’s $7 million, come in and do this genie movie.” What am I going to say, no? So I did it.

Well stated. And truthfully, one cannot argue with Shaq’s reasoning now that he has explained himself. In the end, Shaq deserves credit for chasing his dreams no matter where they led him, irrespective of the ultimate results. In the end, no matter who the star of a movie might be, I suppose not every film can be as critically acclaimed and universally praised as a true piece of motion picture magic like the way Steel was viewed.