Shaq rules ‘Secret Celebrity Renovation.’ talks LIV Golf controversy

At 7-foot-1 and one of the NBA’s greatest centers ever, the Hall of Fame superstar known worldwide asShaq is not used to rejection.

Yet, when Shaquille O’Neal, 50, offered to completely remodel the Orlando, Fla., home of his beloved Uncle Roy for CBS’s “Secret Celebrity Renovation,” the selfless “true uncle,” who housed O’Neal’s family in 1992 when the rookie was drafted to the Orlando Magic, politely declined.

“When I asked him at first, he said ‘no.’ I had to get my mom, the oldest sibling,” O’Neal says. “She talked to him and made him do it.”

Everyone wins as CBS’ reality rehab show continues its second season, airing Friday (8 pm EDT/PDT). The larger-than-life O’Neal discussed what he vows will be “the best celebrity renovation ever” airing in September.

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Shaquille O'Neal helps out on

Question: We’re sure this is going to be the Best Renovation Show Ever, but why?

shaq: I watch some renovation shows and when I see the reveal, that’s no renovation. I don’t know if there’s a word above luxury, but that’s exactly what this renovation is. Like his stove, refrigerator and wood trimmings, I don’t have those in any of my mansions. This was something else.

Q: Why was your Uncle Roy the slam dunk choice for this honor?

shaq: I’m a very gifting family guy. But if I call him and say ‘Uncle Roy, I’ve got a million, do you want $100,000?’ he’ll always say ‘No, you work hard for that.’ He has never asked for anything in all my time, not money for a flight or a business deal, nothing.

Shaq and Uncle Roy embrace in

Q: During the emotional ‘Renovation’ reveal, will we see tears from you or Uncle Roy?

shaq: We were not allowed to share emotions by shedding tears growing up. We share emotions just by giving a hug and saying, “thank you.”

Q: Boston legendary center Bill Russell died this week, what kind of inspiration was he to you?

shaq: I grew up knowing Bill Russell was a great man. But I didn’t know until I talked to him how great. He couldn’t stay in the same hotels as his (white) teammates, people would write him harsh words. Back then, he never made the kind of money I make, but never complained. These conversations taught me to be mentally strong, never to complain and to not be a cry baby with everything at my disposal.

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