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NBA star Shaquille O’Neal shoots and misses with DJ set at Outside Lands

NBA star Shaquille O’Neal shoots and misses with DJ set at Outside Lands

Shaquille O’Neal is better at shooting free throws than he is at DJing.

And for those who didn’t follow his Basketball Hall of Fame career, the big guy was certainly no Steph Curry when it came to the stripe.

O’Neal did, however, draw a massive crowd to watch his best attempts at playing DJ during a set that felt like it might never end on an otherwise-very-entertaining Day 1 (Aug. 11) of Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

O’Neal’s grooves were weak, mismatching his samples and sounds in ways that were rarely compelling. His reliance on big beats was more tiring than inspiring. And he truly seemed at a loss on how to command a crowd, instead settling for what appeared to be an attempt at setting a new world record for repeating the phrase “hands up” the most times in a single performance.

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The big 7-footer — who won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat — was even a bit tardy taking the stage.

“Sorry I was late, I was chilling with Steph Curry and Draymond Green,” O’Neal told the crowd. “Where my Warriors fans at?”

The Dubs fans were most certainly in the house — many of whom surely stuck around for the whole set with the hopes of seeing Curry and Green take the stage. Alas, there were no Steph or Dray appearances. Perhaps there will be a Curry showing on Sunday at Outside Lands during the set from Tobe Nwigwe, who contributed music for the AppleTV+ documentary about the two-time NBA MVP —  “Stephen Curry: Underrated.” Curry also makes his musical debut on Nwigwe’s “Lil Fish, Big Pond.”

Shaq did bring one Warrior to the stage — defensive specialist Gary Paton II — who stuck around as the NBA legend closed his DJ set.

It was definitely fun to see Shaq in person — and surely a kind of “check this off the list” moment for many fans. It’s too bad, however, that he didn’t do some rapping from the stage, since he proved to have some talent on the mic with the 1993 platinum-selling debut “Shaq Diesel” and other recordings.

As far as Shaq’s DJing goes, however, let’s just say that Zedd — who also appeared on Day 1 of the festival — doesn’t need to worry.

Kendrick Lamar, aespa, Interpol and Janelle Monáe were among the other acts who performed on what was a great kick-off to the 2023 Outside Lands. The festival, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, continues through Sunday. Visit sfoutsidelands.com for more information.

DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neal) performs on stage during the first day of the Outside Lands Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) 
DJ Diesel (aka Shaquille O’Neal) performs on stage during the first day of the Outside Lands Festival at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)