Video: Shaquille O'Neal conducts the Boston Pops

Kelly Dwyer

He hasn't even played two months worth of basketball for the Celtics yet, but Shaquille O'Neal(notes) has already made himself a local hero to the Massachusetts community. On Monday, he even took over as guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, after the renowned organization asked him to help lead their holiday get-together. O'Neal responded with a stirring take of the Christmas classic, "Sleigh Bells."

Take a look:

[Photo: Shaq poses as a statue in Boston's Harvard Square]

I'm 30, I've been an active musician since 1992, and my father-in-law is actually the Composer In Residence for the Lafayette, Indiana Symphony Orchestra. And I still have no idea what a composer actually does, once the composing is finished. I mean, they have the music right in front of them! None of these are jokes.

[Video: Shaq hanging out with Justin Bieber ]

And yet, Shaq seems to make it all make sense. I mean, without that big man with a little baton, who knows what the Pops would have played? Because O'Neal nailed it (looking a bit like a puppet-master, at times), though, everyone was in line, spreading Christmas cheer to all involved.

Merry Shaq-mas, y'all.

[Photos: See more of the Celtics center in action]

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