Is NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) dead? Learn all there is to know about the situation.
News of former basketball player and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal’s (Shaq) death spread quickly earlier this week causing concern among fans across the world. However, the March 2023 report has now been confirmed as a complete hoax and just the latest in a string of fake celebrity death reports. Thankfully, the former NBA legend is alive and well.
Rumors of his alleged demise gained traction on Sunday after a ‘R.I.P. Shaquille O’Neal’ Facebook page attracted nearly one million ‘likes’. Those who read the ‘About’ page were given a believable account of Shaq’s passing: “At about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday (March 19, 2023), our beloved basketball player Shaquille O’Neal passed away. Shaquille O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.”
Hundreds of fans immediately started writing their messages of condolence on the Facebook page, expressing their sadness that the talented 51-year-old basketball player was dead. And as usual, the NBA Twitter community was frenzied over the death hoax.
Did everyone believe the fake ‘Shaq is dead’ hoax?
As it turns out, not everyone believed the rumors.
Whereas some trusting fans believed the post, others were immediately skeptical of the report, perhaps learning their lesson from the huge amount of fake death reports emerging about celebrities over recent months. Some pointed out that the news had not been carried on any major American network, indicating that it was a fake report, as the death of a basketball player of Shaquille O’Neal’s stature would be major news across networks.
On Monday the basketball player’s reps officially confirmed that O’Neal is not dead. “He joins the long list of celebrities who have been victimized by this hoax. He’s still alive and well, stop believing what you see on the Internet,” they said. Fans have since expressed anger at the fake report saying it was reckless, distressing and hurtful to fans of the much loved basketball player.