Shaquille O'Neal speaks during The wearable & beyond with big Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal, Rick Valentin on Sunday, March, 9, 2014. Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

Jeff Pearlman has been sharing fascinating stories and insights from his sportswriting career on his TikTok channel.

In particular, he’s pointed out some of the best and worst people he’s had to deal with while interviewing and writing about them.

He’s offered up his thoughts and feelings about superstars like Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Dusty Baker, and Pete Rose, to name a few.

One of his recent videos was about the person he thinks is the nicest NBA superstar: Shaquille O’Neal. Pearlman recounted an experience that happened when he was interviewing Shaq for a book.

@jeffpearlmanauthor My time with the nicest NBA superstar ever. #NBA #shaq #writersoftiktok #journalism #lakers #heat #magic #celtics ♬ original sound – Jeff Pearlman

“Years ago, I’m working on my Shaq-Kobe book, ‘Three-Ring Circus’ and I’m with Shaq in Atlanta and I’m interviewing him before a broadcast in Turner Studios. I’m sitting with him and he’s great. He’s awesome. He’s funny. He’s cool. His phone rings and it’s his daughter on a FaceTime call. And he excuses himself.

“He goes ‘Hey baby.’ She goes, ‘Hey Daddy, do you remember my friend Jennifer?’ ‘Yeah, of course, baby.’ ‘So, her mom just died yesterday.’ And Shaq goes ‘Oh baby, I’m so sorry, that’s terrible.’ She goes, ‘Yeah, it was really sudden, she’s really devastated, I don’t know, I just thought I should tell you.’ He goes, ‘Listen, tell the family, I’m gonna handle the funeral expenses. Make sure they don’t pay for a thing. I’m gonna handle it all. Just have them send me all the information.’ She goes, ‘Really, Daddy?’ ‘Yeah, just tell them, it’s a tough time, let them take their mind off something.’

“It was the nicest little snippet of a moment of Shaq I’ve seen, and lived up to everything you’ve heard about him.”

[Jeff Pearlman]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to