Shaquille O’Neal’s larger-than-life humor, the towering 7’1″ retired NBA legend and father of six, recently shared the “only time” he wished he wasn’t over 7 feet tall – when it comes to driving sports cars. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, O’Neal discussed his new commercial for Pepsi’s 125th-anniversary celebration, where he humorously expresses his desire to be “a little bit smaller” while grooving to Skee-Lo’s 1995 hit, “I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller.”
Shaquille O’Neal’s Larger-Than-Life Humor
The NBA icon explained that navigating luxury sports cars presented a unique challenge due to his exceptional height. O’Neal recalled having to modify expensive rides like Lamborghinis and Ferraris by buying two, shrinking them down, and removing convertible parts to fit comfortably. Despite the occasional wish for a smaller frame in these instances, Shaquille O’Neal emphasized that this fleeting desire was limited to the world of high-end automobiles.
Pepsi’s latest ad, titled “I Wish,” revisits the concept of Shaquille O’Neal’s iconic 1994 “Big Slam” commercial. In the new spot, the former NBA star humorously grapples with the challenges of his towering stature, from cramped airplane seats to struggles in bed and even difficulties capturing a group selfie with shorter friends. The commercial culminates in a rap performance by O’Neal alongside Skee-Lo, who surpriƒses viewers with an appearance.
Reflecting on his longstanding relationship with Pepsi, O’Neal shared memories from his first collaboration in the ’90s. Recounting the fond experiences on set, O’Neal expressed appreciation for Pepsi’s willingness to let him add his personal touch to the commercials. When approached to represent and sponsor Pepsi Mini Cans, O’Neal eagerly embraced the opportunity, highlighting the positive and enduring partnership between the basketball icon and the iconic beverage brand.
With humor and nostalgia, Shaquille O’Neal’s playful take on his height-related challenges, combined with the catchy throwback soundtrack, adds a lighthearted touch to Pepsi’s celebration of 125 years. The ad not only showcases O’Neal’s enduring charisma but also reinforces the timeless appeal of the Pepsi brand. As fans revisit the familiar concept of O’Neal grappling with his larger-than-life persona, the commercial offers a fresh and entertaining twist, demonstrating that even a towering figure like Shaq can find humor in the everyday struggles of living large.