NBA legend Shaq is wary of crypto. Says it’s “too good to be true”

By Samuel Wan

Former pro basketball player, now NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal told CNBC that he’s wary of crypto. While he’s not averse to overnight success, as is the case for some investors, he said the entire premise of cryptocurrency seems too good to be true.

“Every time somebody tells me one of those great stories, I like it. But from my experience, it is too good to be true.

Admittedly, crypto investing isn’t for everyone. But what’s his train of thought for coming to this conclusion?

What is Shaq’s reasoning?

O’Neal has a reputation for being a big spender. In 2008, after his switch from Miami Heat to the Phoenix Suns, O’Neal’s American Express card was denied for a $70,000 purchase at Walmart due to suspected fraud.

The NBA legend said his new home was empty, so he proceeded to buy everything he needed in one go.

“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 … I’m Walmart’s biggest customer … Pans, socks, underwears, tank tops, TVs, printers, computers.”

Another example of his lavish spending was the time he bought three Bentleys to prove a point.

As a relative unknown, at the start of his career playing for the LA Lakers, he entered a Rolls Royce dealership in Beverley Hills to be met with a snooty salesman. Having been questioned on his ability to “afford it,” O’Neal reacted by buying three on the spot.

However, O’Neal doesn’t share this same loose abandon when it comes to crypto.

As prescribed by Warren Buffett, people should only invest in what they know. And when it comes to crypto, O’Neal comes clean on not knowing much about it.

Having said that, the four-time NBA champion is open to investing. But not until he’s spent the time getting to grips with the topic.

“So I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is.”

Shaq is worried about getting caught up in crypto scams

O’Neal revealed that he’s often approached by crypto projects to send out tweets. He recounts one particular incident when he was offered close to $1 million for a tweet but chose not to go ahead.

“I always get these companies that say, ‘Hey, we’ll give you $900,000 in crypto to send out a tweet.’ So I have to say, ‘OK, if you’re going to give me a million dollars worth of crypto, then why do you need me?’”

He said a number of his friends “got caught up” with projects that later transpired to be scams.

In recent times, several influencers have lifted the lid on marketing practices within the crypto industry. Perhaps most shady is the method of making tweets seem like they aren’t paid endorsements.

Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee spoke about this earlier in the year when he said a Tron representative asked him to promote the project while making it seem like an organic tweet of his own volition.

Tron CEO Justin Sun denied any wrongdoing, essentially claiming the rep went rogue.

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