It’s one thing to be a regular Joe and have your credit card declined when you’re trying to make a purchase at a store. It’s embarrassing and you are 100% certain everyone in the store saw how broke you are, but life goes on.
Now, imagine being a 7’1 NBA player with millions of dollars and you’re racking up tens of thousands of dollars in expenses in a store when you hear the cashier tell you that your card has been declined.
That’s exactly what happened to Shaquille O’Neal in 2008.
O’Neal detailed this hilarious predicament in his interview with HBO’s “Real Sports.”
A Thrifty Baller
In 2008, after Shaq had been traded from the Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns, he was given a brand new apartment with literally nothing in it. So, he made a stop at Walmart and decided to purchase everything he needed.
“I have the highest purchase in Walmart history— the CEO will confirm that,” said O’Neal. “I spent about $70,000 in one night. I spent so much that American Express thought my credit card was stolen,” Shaq laughed.
So what happened?
“I’m very impatient,” Shaq said. “So they already got the apartment set up, and I ain’t got nothing. I ain’t got no towels, I ain’t got no pots and pans, no TVs.”
When inquired about why he chose Walmart, he contended, “I’m Walmart’s biggest customer, they know it.”
In disbelief, the interviewer said, “Come on! You went to Walmart to furnish your house?”
“Yes!” he replied. “All day, every day. Pans, socks, underwear, tank tops, TVs, printers, computers.”
He continued, “So I get to the cash register and I [swipe the card] and they said, ‘Declined.’”
O’Neal then attempted to clean the card off — as we all do — and in a second attempt, it was declined again.
“So the security team from American Express called me and said, ‘Hey man, somebody stole your credit card and they’re at Walmart.’ And I said, ‘No sir, that’s me!’ And the guy goes, ‘What the [pause] are you buying?’” Shaq shared.
The American Express cut his card back on, and Shaq “got a couple of trucks” to move all of his purchases and fully furnished his home in one day.
Truly, you can’t front on a multi-millionaire who loves a good deal on household items.