Shaquille O'Neal is a man who can pretty much only be described as "ginormous." He stands at more than 7 feet tall, weighs more than 300 pounds, and wears a size 22 shoe. Thanks to his long career in professional basketball, he's also recognizable almost everywhere he goes. Shaq recently has been rather bizarrely spotted hiding behind trees. He dropped by The Late Late Show on CBS to explain why he was trying to blend in with the California foliage, saying this:
I was in Beverly Hills doing a little shopping and I saw the [paparazzi] walk by, because they were chasing somebody else. I didn't want them to see me, but I couldn't run since I'm too big to run, so I found that tree. I just wanted to stay still and blend in.
Shaq's admission to James Corden on The Late Late Show goes a long way to make sense of why he tried to conceal all his bulk behind a tree with a trunk narrower than even one of his legs. He didn't go for fight or flight; he went into stealth mode. If only the paparazzi had the visual acuity of a Jurassic Park T-rex, he might have gone unnoticed during his shopping trip that day. At least he managed not to wipe out and crash into this tree. Maybe he learned his lesson from his 2014 Christmas tree mishap.
As it turns out, trees aren't Shaq's only refuge for trying to hide from paparazzi. Another photographer snapped a pic of him trying to duck behind a Range Rover to avoid any watchful eyes. Unfortunately for him, it was not a Shaq-sized Range Rover, and even bending down a foot or so wasn't low enough to hide him.
Kudos to him for at least trying for urban camouflage. Short of an invisibility cloak, Shaquille O'Neal is never going to be a man who has an easy time avoiding notice. Retiring from the NBA hasn't even lowered his profile much. He still appears on the small screen for basketball as an analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA, and his appearance on Spike's Lip Sync Battle with a crazy performance of "Maniac" won't be forgotten any time soon.
Hopefully Shaq will be able to keep his sense of humor about his failures to hide from prying eyes during his free time. Not everybody would be able to laugh about being spotted trying to hide behind a teeny tiny tree, but he doesn't seem too upset about it. Good for him for being such a good sport.
In case you ever get tired of looking at the picture of ginormous Shaq hiding behind a ludicrously small tree, check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch on the small screen.