Shaquille O’Neal is setting the record straight after reports stated that he covered a hefty tab at a New York City restaurant last week.
The Hall of Famer addressed the situation on the latest episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq after a source said he left the staff “the biggest tip they’ve ever received” at Jue Lan Club and picked up the alleged $25,000 tab for patrons in the establishment.
O’Neal said he did not pay a $25,000 tab for everyone in the restaurant, despite previous reports praising him for his generosity. However, he did confirm that he left the staff a $2500 tip in exchange for their services.
“It wasn’t $25,000. It was $2,500,” he said in the episode “The Big Generosity.”
“Always give the waiters big tips because I appreciate them. I always ask them and give them the ability to tell me what they want. I ask them, “what do you want? Biggest tip you’ve ever had?” because I want them to remember me. I always want to leave the impression that I am a nice guy. I am not going to take credit for the $25,000. It was a great viral moment, but it was $2,500.”
O’Neal was reportedly on a date with an unidentified woman at Jue Lan Club, ordering Beijing chicken, shrimp tempura, and the Chelsea eatery’s signature chicken satay, Sis2Sis reported. After their meal, an insider stated that the Newark native “paid for everyone’s check [who was] dining at the restaurant.”
The sports analyst also responded to allegations that he was on a date that evening.
“I say, ‘Hello, this is my date?’” O’Neal explained. “Black people even talk like that — first of all. Second of all, I don’t do dates.”
The 50-year-old recently sat down with SUCCESS magazine and discussed his former basketball career, being the first in his family to graduate college, and maintaining total control over his business endeavors.