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“I Couldn’t Control Myself”: Shaquille O’Neal Fell in Love With Hollywood Actress Who Was Caught Checking Out Kobe Bryant

Published 12/23/2022, 9:50 AM EST

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Shaquille O’Neal is a strong believer in dreams. Everything that he has achieved, he has dreamed of it. He calls this phenomenon ‘Dreamful Attraction’. On The Big Podcast, the four-time NBA Champion opened up about how his relationship with dreaming. It’s either sitting up straight with his eyes closed or like everyone else, he dreams while sleeping. While stating this, Shaq revealed that he once dreamt about meeting a Hollywood actress and within a few years, this too became a reality.

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The Hollywood actress in the discussion here was Halle Berry. Having starred in movies like 2004’s Catwoman and Losing Isiah, Berry is supposedly a huge fan of sports. Over the years, the NBA has witnessed the presence of Berry on the sidelines. There was one moment from the past that stands out. In 2003, Berry attended a Los Angeles Lakers game. During the 4th quarter, the camera caught her checking out late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. While Berry had her eyes on number 8, Bryant’s teammate, Shaquille O’Neal’s dream was coming true.

Love at first sight


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During his college days, Shaquille O’Neal once watched a Halle Berry movie and instantly felt “infatuated” with her. Overcome by his feelings, Shaq wrote Berry a letter. A few days later, he received a reply from the Academy winner. On the podcast, he revealed that he still has the letter. Despite conversing via letters, Shaq also had the desire to meet and speak to her in person.

Following this, the three-time Finals MVP recollected the time when he met Berry for the first time. Supposedly, Berry instantly remembered the letter that she and Shaq had exchanged. Shaq said, “I almost couldn’t control myself”.


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The Big Diesel left this to self-interpretation but highlighted that he was completely in love with her. It was then that the 15-time All-Star realized that ‘Dreamful Attraction’ is a real thing. With that said, this isn’t the first time that Shaq has opened up about his love for Halle Berry.

Shaquille O’Neal on Halle Berry watching him play ball


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On the Kelly Clarkson show, the 2000’s MVP narrated a story about the time his heart “started fluttering” when he saw Halle Berry on the sidelines. On talking about the occasion, Shaq expressed“I get nervous, I call a time-out. Coach said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘Shut up, Halle Berry is here to watch me. Nobody shoots, make sure I get the ball.” 

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With a 52.7 free-throw percentage, Shaq was an average free-throw shooter. He’d miss more than he’d make. But in this game, with his celebrity crush watching him, the Big Aristotle made the free throw. Shaq was head-over-heals. He said, “She’s the only woman that makes my stuttering come back.”


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Watch This Story: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and Other NBA Stars who Have Made Dazzling Hollywood Appearances

What is your reaction to Shaq’s celebrity love confession? Let us know in the comments below.



Shriya Rajachandra

479 articles

Shriya Rajachandra is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Communicative English. Shriya previously interned at The New Indian Express, but her favorite journalist, Marcus Thompson motivated her to start writing about basketball.

Edited By: Jayant Chhabra