Why Shaquille O’Neal Once Threatened to Sue 311
The life of a superstar NBA player comes with certain expectations, which is why 311 had to iron out a few things before landing Shaquille O'Neal for a cameo in their "You Wouldn't Believe" video back in 2001. In fact, during a recent appearance on the Tuna on Toast With Stryker podcast, singer Nick Hexum revealed that one particular mishap during the video shoot resulted in Shaq suggesting legal action if not handled correctly.
The shoot happened while O'Neal was still a member of the Los Angeles Lakers and actually occurred while the star center was in the midst of a playoff run. As Hexum recalled to Stryker, “First of all, it was during the NBA playoffs. So he was not allowed to play pickup basketball with a band. He was like, ‘Nobody can know about this until after the playoffs,' cause he was gonna get in so much trouble."
As you can see in the video, Shaq pulls up mid-video shoot as the members of the band are starting to shoot some hoops, and O'Neal actually joins them as Hexum drives to the hoop for a layup. "On the Lakers, his was the year that they won (2001), and Phil Jackson would have gotten really mad," added the singer.
311, "You Wouldn't Believe" Video
But that wasn't the issue that found O'Neal at odds with the band. "He showed up and he had two left shoes. And of course, nobody else had a shoe that they could lend him because they’re size 23 or something. So he said, you may not film my feet… You may not film my feet and if you do I will sue you,” recalled the singer.
It actually all panned out well, with Hexum bringing to the podcast an actual Shaquille O'Neal shoe from that day signed by the star to the band. The shoe itself is a little worse for wear, While Hexum initially marked up the shoe's appearance to "degradation" over a 20 year period, he then revealed, "What we used to like to do is like, this is so big, I can put my foot with the shoe still on inside his shoe, and I think somebody did that and it just like tore up."
During this same period in 2001, the band continued their friendship with the Lakers star, as O'Neal recorded a song with the band called "Psycho" and then made a surprise guest appearance at the KROQ Weenie Roast arriving by helicopter to perform the track with the band, then getting a bloody mouth diving into the crowd.
“He showed up in his helicopter and joined us onstage to do the song,” Hexum recalled. “That was such a cool thing. I mean, this was the year the Lakers won, it was Kobe and Shaq, and they had just won the championship and then we did the Weenie Roast. So the place just went crazy and Shaq jumped into the crowd and busted his mouth on somebody’s head.”
"You Wouldn't Believe" went on to become one of 311's bigger songs, peaking at No. 7 on the Alternative Airplay chart in 2001. Meanwhile, Shaq would win three consecutive championships while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, eventually finishing a Hall of Fame career before becoming an NBA analyst for TNT.. And yes, he's also furthered his DJ career over the years as well, keeping a very big toe in the music world.
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