Shaq at All-Star Saturday Night in 2023.

Back in November, a class-action lawsuit was filed against celebrities who had represented bankrupt cryptocurrency trading platform FTX in advertisements. That lawsuit named Larry David (who appeared in the company’s Super Bowl LVI ad) and a host of sports stars, including Tom Brady, Steph Curry, Trevor Lawrence, David Ortiz, Shohei Ohtani, and more. Five months later, all of those stars and more named have been served with the lawsuit, except for NBA star turned TNT analyst Shaquille O’Neal.

That led to quite the court filing this week. There, the plaintiffs detailed a myriad of issues they say they have faced in “dozens of attempts” to servea O’Neal with a physical copy of the lawsuit, even including a text referencing the process server’s wife. They asked the court for permission to serve him digitally instead. The Athletic legal analyst Daniel Wallach detailed this in a Twitter thread Friday. Here’s some of that, but the full thread is well worth a look for all the details it includes about attempts to serve O’Neal in Texas (at least 12) and Georgia (12):

This isn’t the first discussion of O’Neal avoiding service here. Last month, there were several pieces written about the plaintiffs’ lawyers saying O’Neal was hiding from service, and that he was the only one not yet served even at that point. That included quite the comment from attorney Adam Moskowitz to Sarah Emerson at Forbes, which ran in a piece titled “Shaq May Be Hiding In His House To Avoid FTX Lawsuit“:

“It is really astonishing the measures he has gone [to] to avoid service of our complaint,” attorney Adam Moskowitz told Forbes. “The irony is that the admitted facts against him are probably the worst against any of the FTX brand ambassadors.”

Of course, this is a filing from the plaintiffs’ side, and it doesn’t include a response from O’Neal. We’ll see if they get the ruling they’re seeking to digitally serve O’Neal. That has been allowed before in some cases, but it’s more typical to see it with anonymous accounts on the internet. O’Neal is far from anonymous, especially with his regular NBA on TNT appearances, and he’s also been in some high-profile places during the course of this, including various DJ sets, his Shaq’s Fun House party ahead of the Super Bowl, and the NBA’s All-Star Weekend (he’s seen above at All-Star Saturday Night). So it is curious that he hasn’t yet been served.

The lawsuit here alleges that FTX and ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (who are also named as defendants) targeted “unsophisticated investors” with these celebrity endorsements. One of the lines in the lawyers’ November filing was “Part of the scheme employed by the FTX Entities involved utilizing some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment — like these Defendants — to raise funds and drive American consumers to invest.” We’ll see what this winds up leading to, but we may have to wait until they’re able to serve O’Neal in one manner or another.

[Daniel Wallach on Twitter; photo from Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.