When one's 7'1", they get used to people comparing heights. And that's exactly the case with Shaquille O'Neal! Here's a look at the NBA giant (literally) standing with Hollywood figures over the years.
Never Say Never
It’s one thing to compare Shaq to other NBA players, but what about us “normal” folks? Just look at him standing next to pop star Justin Bieber (who stands at 5’7”) during a casual meet and greet.
Shaq and the Biebs go all the way back to 2015 when our NBA icon appeared as a special guest on Comedy Central's Roast of Justin Bieber. The tallest man in the room proved he could take it and dish it out, letting loose on Bieber - and even the L.A. Lakers who boosted his career.
Similar Career, Two Different Worlds
With a height difference this extreme, we’re sure these two athletes couldn’t resist grabbing a picture together! Especially since they have both had equally impressive careers - with Shaq considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time and Simone one of the most decorated Olympic gymnasts.
Of course, professional gymnasts tend to be petite. So it's no surprise that Biles stands at just 4'8," which is why she looks so tiny beside O'Neal! She saw the humor in their height difference and took to Twitter with the photo and the caption "hey Shaq." One commenter even added, "now go get a Yao Ming pic."
Nick Cannon’s In Trouble
It may not be basketball, but we can’t think of a single sport where we’d want to go up against Shaq. And judging by Nick Cannon’s face in the photo below, he feels exactly the same! Thankfully it was a promo photo for the Third Annual Hall of Game Awards, so he probably got off easy.
What's even more surprising is that Cannon isn't a short man, yet even at 6'0," he is practically minuscule compared to his NBA co-star! But he clearly loved his time on the show as he took to Instagram with the photo, alongside the caption "One time for the Big Guy! @shaq Happy Earth Day, King!!"
The Life Of The Party
What we wouldn’t give to have been in this room! It’s not often we see this level of celebrity royalty in one candid shot, especially with height differences like this! This shot shows Shaq practically towering over actors Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, and his mother.
Julia Roberts stands at 5'9," Bruce Willis is 6'0," and Mrs. Willis is even shorter! Needless to say, they looked like they were having plenty of fun in this shot taken at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2000. With so many fans looking up to these actors, it's probably not often that they have to look so far up to someone else...
Talk Show Shenanigans
Though FOX & Friends has been a mainstay at Fox Studios since 1998, this photo wasn’t taken until 2013. Despite that, it certainly looks like a classic pop culture throwback since these two industry stars look so much younger! Shaq and Sparks were just two of the many celebs who stopped by that year.
The talented Sparks is actually above average height for a female, standing at 5’9,’’ but there’s no doubt that the One Step at a Time singer looks slightly shorter compared to her fellow guest. And we’re not even counting the several inches on her heels, which simply can’t compete with Shaq’s 7’1” height.
Even statuesque supermodels can’t compare to O’Neal. Just look at this shot of the NBA legend standing alongside runway icon Cindy Crawford! The famous pair are squeezed up against each other, and one can still see how Willowy Cindy barely brushes the top of Shaq’s shoulders.
Just like Jordin Sparks, even several inches of high heels don’t make much difference for the 5’9” model. If one's wondering why Shaq looks so young, this particular photo was taken back in 1993 at the MTV Video Awards at Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.
Looking Up To The Chef
Hold on… what? There’s definitely something off about this photo… we promise Gordon Ramsay isn’t taller than Shaq! As it turns out, the UK chef pulled a legendary prank by standing on a platform so he could show the world that he was actually taller than our NBA baller.
While no one was falling for it, it definitely made for a great photo op. The 6'2" chef even shared it on his Facebook page with the caption, "Finally, someone with bigger feet than me! Great seeing you tonight, Shaquille O' Neal, and can't wait to see your #carpoolkaraoke!!"
Here’s another famously small star who took the opportunity to pull a hilarious visual gag with our favorite gentle giant. Kelly Ripa, best known as the co-host of ABCs Live! With Regis & Kelly, jumped at the opportunity to take a photo with her latest famous guest.
And we can see why! At 5'2," she is easily dwarfed by her 7'1" counterpart. In another photo Ripa shared with her followers, she and Shaq even compared shoes and hand sizes to the delight of people across the internet! She added the caption, "Hahaha!! #Shaq is still growing! #KellyRipa #KellyandMichael #Tall #Tiny #ShoeSize22."
Someone Needs A Tailor
While Jimmy Fallon may not look as short standing next to Shaq as other celebs we’ve mentioned, he certainly looks silly! It’s usually the guests of The Tonight Show who feel the pressure when put in the hot seat - but it looks like Shaq switched positions pretty seamlessly.
Back in 2014, the NBA athlete stopped by the Tonight Show studio and happily switched jackets with Fallon, which is why we can see the hysterical host practically swimming in Shaq’s enormous suit jacket. If only we could see him wearing the 6’0’’ Fallon’s jacket too!
Lighter Than A Feather
It’s not every day we see one star hoisting another over his head while they walk the red carpet! But as we know by now, we should expect visual spectacles when it comes to Shaquille O’Neal, as can be seen by this photo of him holding actor Breckin Meyer in the air with both hands.
Meyer may stand at just 5'5," but that doesn't mean he weighed nothing! It's a testament to Shaquille's strength that the actor didn't blink an eye while being held approximately ten feet in the air… though the woman behind him clearly wasn't as comfortable with the stunt.
A lot of people have forgotten Shaq’s stint as a DJ, so this photo of him beaming next to Thomas Wesley Pentz (who most of us know as Diplo) might look confusing at first. But at one point in time, Shaq and the 5’10” DJ were working in the same industry!
After retiring from the NBA, O'Neal spent some time making beats under the moniker DJ Diesel, debuting at the 2015 festival TomorrowWorld. "Being at TomorrowWorld brought me back to Game 7 energy," the former athlete told Forbes. "The co2, the crowd of hundreds of thousands of happy people, the energy. It's too similar."
The Ultimate Backstage Pass
Remember that shot of Shaquille O’Neal with Bieber? Well, that wasn’t the only photo-op from behind the scenes of the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber. Just take a look at this star-studded picture where Shaq stands behind Hollywood heavyweights like Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.
This celebrity selfie makes it pretty clear that Shaq soars above the heads of 5’9” Martha and her fellow smaller celebrities - but we should point out that Pete Davidson and Uncle Snoop are 6’3” and 6’4,” respectively - and yet they still barely brush the shoulders of the NBA legend!
The Rock or “The Pebble?”
Rewind to 2007, when Shaquille was married to his beautiful wife, Shaunie O’Neal. During an appearance on the ESPY Award red carpets at the Kodak Theatre, the lovely couple ran into actor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and all three stopped to take a picture.
Dwayne Johnson stands at 6’4” and has a naturally broad, stocky frame, so making him look small is no easy feat. Naturally, Shaq pulled it off. What’s also surprising is that his then-wife Shaunie is only 5’5,” making her more than a foot and a half shorter than her former hubby.
Could It Be True?
For those who don’t recognize the man on the left of this picture, they’ll probably assume this is another repeat of Gordon Ramsey’s prank with Shaq. But it’s actually Yao Ming, the former Houston Rockets star and famously massive athlete who stands at 7’6”!
It must be a treat for someone as tall as O'Neal to look up at someone else for once! Though the two athletes had a rocky relationship originally, they are now close pals. "I have been going to China for the last seven or eight years. And we always get together and hang out with the families. He is a great man," Shaq said.
About D*mn Time (This Pair Met)
While most people may have never thought of this pair together, we think they make a dynamic duo! The two stars recently met at the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront event at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York - and they look thrilled to be together.
Of course, singer Lizzo is such a larger-than-life figure that it’s hard to look past the fact that Shaq towers over her 5’10” frame. And in undeniable fashion, Lizzo even convinced the NBA star to join in on her TikTok #aboutdamntime challenge. Iconic!
Shaq's Flavor of Love
When one's over 7" tall, we imagine it's pretty hard to find a lady who's even as much as 1 foot shorter. But looking at his dating history, Shaq doesn't seem to mind! For example, he dated Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander, seen in the photo below, for just over three years.
Alexander was best known for her stint on the VH1 reality show Flavor of Love and is only 5'2" - making the couple's height difference rather startling when seen standing side by side! While they lived together for a few years in Boston during Shaq's run with the Celtics, they eventually broke it off in 2012.
Few photos sum up late 90s pop culture as much as this one! Here we can see Shaq dressed to the nines at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in LA. He’s also posing with film legends Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, a duo who had been boosted to fame by the insanely successful Rush Hour films.
By the looks of the photo, Chan and Tucker were basketball fans eager to nab a pic with the NBA icon. Chan stands at 5’7” and Tucker at 6’0,” so it’s no surprise Shaq stands a full head above them. We just wish he also landed a Rush Hour cameo back then...
So They Think They Can Dance
It can’t be as easy to bust a move when one's over 7 feet tall, but Shaq makes it look like a breeze. In this photo, he and former NFL player Spice Adams prove that the court isn’t just for playing ball. Here, we can see them breaking it down on the court earlier in 2022.
Their breakdance sequence was actually for the Celebrity Crunch Classic that year, giving the two retired athletes a chance to enjoy some on-court shenanigans. 6’0” Adams even appeared on O’Neal’s podcast, The Big Podcast with Shaq, to discuss the Crunch Classic, amongst many other things.
The Disappearing Head
It’s the classic party gag - find the tallest guy in the room and put him next to the shortest, then stand back and take the best picture of the night! And as we can see, it’s no different in Hollywood. Just check out this snap of Shaq and famous funnyman Kevin Hart, who is just 5’2”.
What makes it better is that we can't even see Shaq's face in the picture! And the comedian wasn't fazed in the slightest, sharing the pic to his Instagram with the caption "Me & my man "Shaq" chilling backstage…" along with the hilarious hashtags #HisFaceDidntMakeThePhoto and #AMessageToAllTallPeople.
Two Lover Boys
Like almost every other man who stands beside Shaquille O’Neal, it doesn’t matter how tall one is - even a man over 6 feet will look like a 5’2” Kevin Hart when compared to the NBA baller. Just take rapper and certified Lover Boy Drake, as seen below.
The superstar duo appeared together on stage at the 2017 NBA Awards, where O’Neal performed under his pseudonym DJ Diesel, with both professionals providing music for the evening. Even Drake has to pay respects to the legend - who released two platinum and gold albums back in the 90s!
Sorry Ms. Jackson!
Few pictures show how enormous O’Neal really is as well as this next snap does! Here we find him back in 2001, presenting the Award of Merit at the 28th Annual American Music Awards to none other than pop diva Janet Jackson. And the sports analyst completely dwarfs her!
Even though the All For You singer measures up to just 5’3,” standing next to Shaq makes her look especially tiny! It sounds like it was a strange night all around, as Shaq later revealed (via his podcast) that his then-girlfriend had been uncomfortable with him appearing on stage with Jackson that night. The plot thickens...
Watch the Throne
Unlike many of the stars we’ve seen so far, hip-hop icon Jay-Z is far from a short man, standing at 6’1.” But that means nothing to O’Neal, who appears in this picture looking unbothered with a stylish pair of shades as he looks down on the aforementioned rapper.
But we're sure Carter doesn't mind - the two have a long history, with Hova appearing on Shaq's album You Can't Stop The Reign back in 1996. The former pro athlete even got a tattoo of one of Jay's lyrics, with the words, "Don't compare me to nobody. I'd rather not be mentioned. I'm offended" on his arm.
An Unlikely Trio
While Shaq certainly stood out in his photos with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, or Julia Roberts and Bruce Willis, he’s the one who looks normal in this next pic! This wild photo was taken back in February 2003 at the NBA Read To Achieve Celebration.
We can see Shaq standing with his fellow NBA star Yao Ming, with popstar Christina Aguilera between them. While the two NBA all-stars look somewhat normal, standing side-by-side, there’s no denying that 5’1” X-Tina looks practically childlike compared to the pair!
The Dream Team
During the height of his career, Shaq and Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant were arguably the biggest NBA superstars in America. Seeing the duo side-by-side was enough to drive fans wild with excitement as they stormed the court. And even at 6’4,” Mamba still looked up to his teammate.
And their friendship surpassed even their years on the same team, which is why Shaq took the stage during the 2020 memorial for Kobe Bryant at the Staples Center. "Mamba, you were taken away from us way too soon," he said. "The next chapter of your life was just beginning, but now it's time for us to continue your legacy."
A True 90s Vibe
This has to be one of the most quintessentially 90s pictures we’ve ever seen! Here is O’Neal posing at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards alongside actress Whoopi Goldberg and musician Lauryn Hill, all three decked out in classic 90s get-up - from Lauryn’s silvery eye shadow to Shaq’s pinstriped suit and bowler hat!
No doubt the trio knew how iconic they were as they flashed their pearly whites at the camera. All three have personalities big enough that we almost don’t notice the vast height difference between them - with Hill standing at 5’2,” Goldberg just 5’5,” and of course, O’Neal soaring above them at 7’1.”
Speaking of the MTV Video Music Awards - it looks like Shaq’s status as a pop culture icon and his background as a DJ have secured him a permanent invitation to the award ceremony, both as an attendee and a presenter. Here we see him presenting an award to one of the best in the biz!
Though it’s hard to tell since this photo was taken from behind her, that’s the back of Gwen Stefani’s head! The 5’5” Hollaback Girl artist was being presented with the Best Group Pop Award for 2004 (due to her single It’s My Life) by none other than O’Neal himself.
We’ve had enough 90s throwbacks - now it’s time for a blast from the millennial past! Though many Gen-Zers might not recognize this pair, people who were young in the early 2000s will know exactly who Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey are. They were one of the hottest couples in the biz before their split in 2005.
That’s likely why they appeared at Shaqtacular VIII - Athletes & Entertainers for Kids in 2003, hosting and hanging out with Shaquille O’Neal. At just 5’2” and 5’7” respectively, Jessica and Nick weren’t a particularly tall couple, which might be why Shaq looks so much taller in comparison.
Didn't Make the Cut
We’ve already seen this once with Kevin Hart, but we imagine it happens to Shaq every other week! Here’s another snap with a famous pal, this time famous DJ Steve Aoki. Even though Aoki is just 5’9,” Shaq is too tall to get more than his chest, hands, and shoulders in the snap with the DJ.
Regardless, O'Neal took to social media to share the photo alongside the caption, "Saw my good friend @steveaoki today #truelegend." Naturally, his followers were very entertained by the photo, with one even commenting that the NBA star was "Too big for the photo, lol." That's probably the story of his life!
Pointing With The President
The hilarious photo took place during the White House Easter Egg Roll back in 2016, where O'Neal pointed and laughed with then-president Barack Obama. They almost look like they're measuring each other's arm span, though it's slightly obvious whose is longer!
Shaq actually shares a long friendship with the former president, so much so that he has even received personal calls from the man himself! He answered the first call saying, "Mr. Obama, how'd you get my number?" and Obama responded with, "C'mon, Shaq, I'm the president." Fair call, Mr. President.
Nash & O’Neal
Shaq never misses an opportunity to show off his style, as can be seen in this on-stage shot with TV personality Niecy Nash. The duo appeared together at the 2019 WarnerMedia Upfront show at Madison Square Garden - and by the looks of it, Ms. Nash loved sharing the stage with the NBA star.
Nash came to fame on shows like Claws and Reno 911 and continued her trajectory as the host of Clean House back in the early 2000s. Even with an extra couple of inches (via her high-heels), the 5'3" actress turned TV personality doesn't stand a chance against Shaq's 7'11" stature - like every other celebrity in Hollywood…