Shaquille O'Neal Denies He Was Stoned In Viral Tweet from NBA Finals: ‘Everybody Knows I’m a Hookah Man’

The basketball legend had fans poking fun at him for wearing sunglasses during an NBA Finals game

<p>Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty </p> Shaquille O

Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty

Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics during Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals on June 9, 2024

Shaquille O'Neal took time to set the record straight after a viral post jokingly suggested he and NBA alum Paul Pierce had imbibed on cannabis edibles during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

When O'Neal, 52, and Pierce, 46, were spotted sitting courtside at TD Garden in Boston on the ABC broadcast, several users on X (formerly known as Twitter) gave the duo the meme treatment, pointing out O'Neal's sunglasses and Pierce's anxious expression.

One of the most popular posts about their appearance came from podcaster Travonne Edwards who wrote, "this edible ain’t s---" with two laughing emojis over a screen grab of O'Neal and Pierce.

But when O'Neal saw the post one day later, the former Celtic responded in third person to clarify that he doesn't use edibles.

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"Shaq don't do edibles you dummy, stop tryna get noticed with dumb ass tweets," O'Neal wrote in his reply to Edwards.

The Inside the NBA host said he was in sunglasses "cuz I'm shining dummy," and added, "everybody knows I'm a hookah man."

Fans replied to O'Neal to let him know the suggestion in the original tweet was more aimed at Pierce, who appeared uncomfortable and overwhelmed when he was shown on the broadcast.

"Shaq brother I think they were talking about Pierce," one user wrote.

Another said, "Should’ve told Paul Pierce to throw some sunglasses too."

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O'Neal and Pierce seemed to be in good spirits in Boston for Game 2. In a video shared by NBA on TNT, the retired pros laughed as O'Neal pretended to be asleep in his seat before the game started, which also fueled the jokes about his relaxed state.

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The Celtics took a two-game lead over the Mavericks during the game, despite O'Neal's prediction that Boston has no defense for Dallas star Luka Doncic.

“The Celtics do not have three or four guys that can guard Luka. I like Dallas in this series. I like the way they're playing," O'Neal said on May 30.

Game 3 between the Celtics and Mavericks tips off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 12.

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