“May Well Need Some Special Customs to Get Let Through”: Australian PM on Rare Gift to Shaquille O’Neal That Might Get Him in Trouble at the Airport

Published 08/27/2022, 9:00 AM EDT

via Getty

Shaquille O’Neal landed in Australia on Tuesday and has been the buzz of the country ever since. The Lakers legend is visiting the Land Down Under for the first time in more than two decades. In fact, the big man has made it his goal to make this his most memorable visit to Oz.

His most memorable moment in Australia came when he joined Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney at a press conference.


Article continues below this ad

Shaq wanted to talk about the government’s Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum. Following a wonderful meeting, Prime Minister Albanese presented Shaq with two jerseys from his beloved rugby league side, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. In addition to that, Ms. Burney gifted the NBA legend a boomerang handmade by indigenous artist Josh Evans.

While the jerseys would not pose a difficulty in terms of customs clearance, the boomerang may. So Shaq hilariously asked Mr. Albanese if he could grant him the custom clearance.

Well, that part should be fairly easy considering he is the Prime Minister.

Why is Shaquille O’Neal in Australia?

Shaquille O’Neal has returned to Australia after more than 20 years and is making the most of his stay. As a guest on several TV shows, he has been delivering an uncensored peek into his life and career.


“If There Are Any Diplomats Watching..”: Shaquille O’Neal Broke Silence on Dennis Rodman’s North Korea Visit in 2013

7 months ago

The Australians were also given the opportunity to revel in his alter ego as DJ Diesel had his shows lined up in Melbourne and Sydney. The fans also got to witness the big man through various meet and greets.

The most memorable and significant element of his journey, though, was meeting the Prime Minister and the Minister for Indigenous Australians during a press conference.

PM Albanese met with Shaq to discuss the government’s referendum on Indigenous Voice to Parliament. The NBA veteran stated emphatically that he loves Australia and will be there for them if they need anything from him.


Article continues below this ad

Albanese indicated that he had a reason to involve Shaq in the country’s referendum. He emphasized that it is about working with and connecting with individuals who can connect with people from all walks of life, not just the youth.

Albanese also added that it was Shaq who was interested in meeting with him and discussing their intentions for a referendum.


Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Does Klay Thompson have a girlfriend? 

Shaquille O’Neal retired from basketball more than a decade ago. However, he continues to be an inspiration to countless individuals.



Ritvik Malhotra

353 articles

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.