Adam Lefkoe and Shaquille O'Neal on The Big Podcast with Shaq on YouTube. Adam Lefkoe and Shaquille O’Neal on The Big Podcast with Shaq on YouTube.

In August, Shaquille O’Neal called Adam Lefkoe to ask him to host his podcast. He wanted to take their relationship to the next level.

On the Awful Announcing podcast, Lefkoe imitated Shaq’s voice and informed host Brandon Contes that while strolling around Brooklyn, he swiftly decided to be the podcast host for the NBA Hall of Famer without seeking anyone’s opinion.

“Shaq and I have had, since our first Tuesday show together, like a very interesting, instant connection, where the first show he showed up on set about 20 seconds and was like, ‘I’m Shaq,’ and I was like, ‘I’m Lefkoe, nice to meet you,'” Lefkoe recalled. “And we start the show, and he looks at my jacket, which was like small flowers, and he goes, ‘Are those bullet holes?’ You have a full rundown, and it’s your first ever National TV show, and you can barely hear him because his voice was so low, and I was like, ‘No, bro, these are flowers.'”

Lefkoe and Shaq were just about to start filming the second episode when Shaq mentioned the clip of Bruce Smith’s on-air collapse, suggesting they pull a similar stunt. Before Lefkoe could suggest doing it next week, Shaq took a tumble. He tripped himself, crashed into the set, and demolished said set – all while Lefkoe was mid-sentence. Dwayne Wade and Candace Parker were stunned. Lefkoe, the only one in on the joke, strolled past while Shaq shot him a wink.

“And that’s when I realized this guy’s a 14-year-old,” said Lefkoe.

Lefkoe revealed Shaq’s obsession with his “white guy” voice. They even capitalized on it, creating viral videos with Shaq lip-syncing Lefkoe’s voiceovers. Shaq has since raved about Lefkoe’s marketing skills and expressed eagerness for future collaborations.

“Over the years, I would pitch him things, and he’d pitch me things, but he would do his own podcast, and I had my own podcast,” said Lefkoe. “And I guess when it opened up, he just reached out. It’s been really cool to see the reaction to the really heartfelt things that he says. Like the crazy stuff is Shaq; we’re used to that.

“But, when I watched the Shaq doc that came out, I began to realize that Shaq and Charles are both so much more intelligent than they will let you believe. And some of it is a character because they know that makes people comfortable. But if you doubt their intelligence, they’re not gonna look at you the same, but if you embrace their intelligence, then you can really tap into some really cool stuff.

“And Shaq is at a point in his life where he’s brutally honest with anybody. He’s gone through so much, family-wise, career-wise, that now, it’s about trust. He trusts me; I trust him. We’re going to have fun, and my goal is to throw 50 alley-oops every episode. If we have a guest and I have questions that I really want to ask and Shaq’s on a roll, I’m gonna sit like this and remind myself to shut the f up.

“Because one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is just because you’re on TV and just because you’re on TV and just because your friends and family are excited to see you, it ain’t about you. And the quicker that you can realize that the best people in the host chair are the ones that make everybody else look great, and I think that’s the reason Shaq and I get along. He wants me to shoot sometimes, but I’m very happy throwing him.”

Their unlikely partnership, built on mutual respect and contrasting personalities, promises a future full of insightful conversations that pique curiosity and maybe even a few more broken sets..

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About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.