Major A-List Athlete Rejects ‘Dancing With the Stars’


ABC Season 29 of "Dancing With the Stars" is here, but one of the celebrity dancers will be kicked off after their first performance.

Shaquille O’Neal has showed off his dance moves before, but he recently said he isn’t interested in taking his talents to ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. The retired NBA All-Star told Us Weekly that being a contestant on the dance competition isn’t in his future.

“I can’t do it, yeah. I wouldn’t do it now,” the former Los Angeles Lakers player said. “I like being the innovator. If it was season 1, I would do it. But I can’t do it in season 2 [or after].”

When fellow NBA retiree Charles Oakley was a contestant, O’Neal was rooting for him. O’Neal added that he doesn’t “discipline and courage” to do show like Oakley did.

“I thought his feet work was pretty nice,” he said. “He looked really good at something that they’d been wanting me to do for a while, but I don’t have enough discipline and courage to do it. [Charles] looks really good. Now, he was always a guy that stayed in shape and it was really good and his outfit and his hips are still working really good.”

After being eliminated the first week of season 29, Oakley told Good Morning America that he was happy to have the opportunity to be on the show despite getting eliminated so early.

“It’s business,” he said. “You go and put your effort and your heart to it, and sometimes like in a football game or a basketball game, you got to score a lot of points to win and we didn’t score no points. I’m just glad I had a chance to come on the show.”

Shaquille O’Neal Hasn’t Been Shy About His Dance Moves Throughout His NBA Career

Shaq dances with Jabbawockeez at All StarVisit for more highlights. Shaquille O'Neal dances with the Jabbawockeez at All Star, showing off more of his famous dance moves.2009-04-15T00:10:20Z

During his 15th appearance at the NBA All-Star Game in 2009, O’Neal didn’t have an ordinary introduction. He was accompanied by the dance team the Jabbawockeez and performed a hip-hop infused dance routine that received praise from the crowd. Watch it above.

That wasn’t the first time the TNT commentator had showed off his footwork. Back in 2007, O’Neal challenged Howard and James to a dance-off during the Eastern team’s practice during All-Star Weekend, which you can see below.

Shaq, LeBron, Dwight Howard All-Star Dance-OffVisit for more videos like this hilarious impromptu dance contest at East Practice during 2007 All-Star Weekend. Have a great basketball video of your own starring yourself? Check out to find out how your best basketball move could land in our weekly Top Five for the rest of the world to see.2007-02-19T02:42:10Z

While in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Neal posted videos of him and his sons, Shareef and Shaquir, doing dance routines for fun on social media. He even called out some of his NBA comrades for a dance challenge in one Instagram post of his sons doing a TikTok routine.

“Y’all [don’t] want none,” O’Neal captioned the video while also tagging LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Damian Lillard, Dwight Howard, Stephen Curry, Udonis Haslem and Joel Embiid and ESPN commentator Stephen A Smith.

The post has over 5.7 million views.

Seven Other NBA Players Have Competed On ‘DWTS’ Before

If Shaquille O’Neal ever agreed to be on Dancing With the Stars, he would have been a part of a small group of players who decided to channel their inner dancer. Besides Charles Oakley, other retired basketball players who appeared on the ABC show include Rick Fox, Lamar Odom, Clyde Drexler, Metta Sandiford-Artest, Derek Fisher and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No NBA players have been able to become Dancing With the Stars champions yet.

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