You’ve just been pulled over for speeding and as you start to panic, trying to come up with an excuse to get out of the ticket, you look in your rear view mirror to see the tallest cop you’ve ever seen. As he starts to walk over to the car, you gasp in shock, only to realize that sheriff that pulled you over is none other than NBA great, Shaquille O’Neal.
While this may not be a reality yet, the NBA all-star has repeatedly stated his interest in a career in law enforcement after his basketball career is done and has already attended the L.A. County Sheriff’s Reserve Academy and became a reserve officer with the L.A. Port Police while with the Lakers. While with the Heat, Shaq was also a part of the Special Victims Unit for the Miami Beach Police Department and is currently part of the Tempe Arizona Police Department with the Suns. In the off -season, he goes back to Orlando and helps out at the Orlando Police Department.
Widely perceived as one of the most dominant players in the history of the NBA and one of the most quotable athletes of all time, Shaq has plenty of playing life in him and is hoping to help take his current team, the Phoenix Suns, to the championships this season for that highly sought after fifth ring he covets. But besides being one of the game’s best, he’s also a huge car enthusiast, with more than 20 cars to his name…and, he doesn’t let his gigantic size stop him from zooming around in an itsy bitsy sports car, either!
You are considered to be one of the biggest trendsetters in the automotive aftermarket. How do you stay ahead of the game? What’s your next big customization?
I stay ahead of the game because I do stuff people can’t afford to do; I do stuff that make people crazy with envy. A couple of years back, I put air bags on my 2007 BMW 6-Series and that didn’t really work out too well. So, what I did this time was I took the 6-Series to West Coast Customs and they cut the top to make a convertible for me. The next big customization for me is probably taking my Phantom to West Coast Customs so that they can make it into a four-door convertible.
Besides you, who in the NBA do you think can hang with your automotive arsenal?
[Laughs} Nobody. I do what’s never been done before. You know how big guys aren’t supposed to fit in sports cars? Well, what I do is that I will buy two sports cars and have the guys at West Coast cut it in half and build a bigger version of the car so I can fit into it with no problems.
We bet you don’t have any problems fitting into your freightliners, huh? What made you want to get those bad boys?
Nope, no problems. I wanted to get the two freightliner trucks after seeing them featured in a DuPont Registry Magazine. Yeah, I have some sports cars, but these two represent me—big, diesel and badass, so move your ass out of the way!
What other fine rides do you have?
Too many to name. I have a Ferrari 360 Modena, a Lamborghini my wife got me for my birthday, a Ford Mustang and a massive Ford F450 I got last year to name a few.
So, where do you house all of them?
At my house in Orlando, Florida. I have a 20-car garage there so that’s where I keep most of them and have a couple out here in Phoenix to get by on.
How do you think DUB has influenced car customization among NBA players?
DUB’s influenced the game a lot. DUB is, like, what’s cool. A lot of guys look at DUB to get ideas and has given a lot of guys the power to call themselves cool. I appreciate you guys for influencing my car game.