Rick Zamperin: Shaq distances himself from Tiger King, Joe Exotic

Shaquille O'Neal poses for photographers upon his arrival for the 2019 NBA Awards in Santa Monica, California, on June 24, 2019. EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal wants to set the record straight after he appeared in an episode of the Netflix true-crime series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.

The documentary about a big cat preserve in Oklahoma that is owned by a man who goes by the name ‘Joe Exotic’ is one of the most talked about TV shows in years.

After devouring all seven episodes, I would describe Tiger King as an absurdly ridiculous romp in the outlandish world of Joe Exotic, with a heaping pile of bizarre characters and mind-boggling twists and turns.

In short, as strange as it is, I highly recommend you watch it. It’s like watching a car wreck over and over again.

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So it comes as no surprise that Shaq is now trying to distance himself from the show, and its main character, who found himself in the middle of a murder-for-hire plot.

Don’t worry, I’m not giving anything away about the show, that’s all in the description.

In one episode of Tiger King, the former NBA superstar is seen playing with a tiger cub.

But O’Neal set the record straight in the most recent episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq, saying that he visited the G.W. Zoo to drop off some donations for the tigers and take some pictures but later stopped going to the park after he “found out that he’s (Joe Exotic) is involved with all the stuff.”

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O’Neal says Joe Exotic is “not my friend,” and added that he “never had any business dealings with him.”

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Telling you about ‘all the stuff’ would certainly ruin the show if you’re one of the few who haven’t watched it yet.

Given the murder plot, and all the other wild shenanigans that were highlighted in the series, it’s probably a good thing that Shaq got in front of this quickly.

Somewhat of a spoiler alert…

Now, if only Shaq can put on his Superman cape and crack the case of Carole Baskin’s missing ex-husband?

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Maybe that will be in the Tiger King sequel.

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