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Shaquille O’Neal to Host New Year’s Eve Special in Virtual Reality

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Retired NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal had a good 2022, and he plans to end it in a uniquely fun way: partying in virtual reality (VR) with friends and fans on New Year’s Eve.

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In an interview with ET’s Nischelle Turner, O’Neal discussed his 40-pound weight loss, his plans to lose at least 20 more, and his upcoming special.

Shaq said blood work results prompted his decision to lose weight. He found the tests alarming enough to prompt the adoption of a “clean” diet — an eating plan emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods to support overall health and possibly promote weight loss. As a result, he lost 40 pounds.

“I need to lose about 20 more,” he told Turner, “but impressive.” O’Neal followed up by saying he’s going to “get real chiseled up and do an underwear ad with my sons.” The three-time NBA Finals MVP said he plans to achieve his ultimate goal by the time he turns 51 on March 6, 2023.

As for his New Year’s Eve plans, O’Neal is hosting The Shaq’tacular Spectacular: A New Year’s Eve VR Concert Experience. Meta is advertising the Shaq’tacular as an “epic NYE celebration, hosted by Shaquille O’Neal (a.k.a DJ DIESEL),”that will feature Shaq hosting a DJ set “as well as epic performances by Cardi B, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, Killer Mike, and WHIPPED CREAM! The show will also feature special guest appearances by Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek.”

In his ET appearance, O’Neal, a prolific investor with a stake in as many as 50 brands across multiple industries, detailed why he was into the idea of celebrating the New Year in VR. It turns out he’s a virtual reality enthusiast:

“Those VR goggles that you buy at Best Buy — I put them things on one day at 12 o’clock, and when I took them off, it was 3 in the morning,” O’Neal recalled. “I was playing shooting games and all these games. I had one with a roller coaster. I’m in my room, and I’m like a little kid, ’cause you know my big a** can’t fit on a roller coaster, so I rode that roller coaster about 100 times.”

Shaq reassured anyone who might fear missing out on the fun. “Don’t worry if you’re not able to watch it when the party starts,” he said, “as the show will be on a loop throughout the evening, where you can join at any time.”

The Shaq’tacular Spectacular, will be available to fans on Meta Quest, Facebook, Instagram, and via Messenger’s Watch Together feature beginning Dec. 31 at 6:30 p.m. EST.

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