Shaquille O’Neal Literally Jumps for Joy After Seeing His New Treehouse
Shaquille O’Neal is getting in touch with his inner child.
The retired NBA star recently sought out Treehouse Masters’ Pete Nelson to help build an over-the-top arboreal hangout in his McDonough, Georgia, backyard. In Friday night’s episode, O’Neal gets his first look at the custom home he commissioned, which, he says, will make up for the playtime he lost as a kid.
“As a youngster, I did kid things but, you know, when you are focused on becoming the best basketball player in the world, you miss out on a lot,” he says in the clip above. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Nelson fashioned the 45-year-old basketballer a grown up version of the classic hideaway, which the Animal Planet host describes as a “speakeasy.” After laying eyes on his new abode, Shaq is practically giddy, jumping up and down and kissing Nelson on the cheek. “This is the best gift ever. I love everything they did,” he says.
“His jaw dropped, even people like him, big men, get all childlike when they see a treehouse,” Nelson says.
Just up the “Shaq-sized” stairs sits the stately structure complete with personal touches like an oversize door with an “S” carved in the front, a fire pit and a wooden plaque decorated with his name.
Inside a poker table, dartboard and full bar await O’Neal, who currently serves as a sports analyst for Inside the NBA. The focal point of the space, though, is a portrait of Shaq smoking a cigar in a blue tuxedo.
“I’m at a loss for words,” he says. “It’s just awesome.”
Treehouse Masters airs Fridays at 9:00 p.m. EST on Animal Planet.