Two months shy of his 50th birthday, Shaquille O’Neal said he’s feeling the effects of aging.
"It is getting harder for me to get my adrenaline back," O’Neal told USA TODAY Sports. "The only thing that gets my adrenaline now is my deejaying."
DJ Diesel, Shaq’s moniker behind the turntables, will be spinning records Super Bowl weekend at Shaq’s Fun House Presented by FTX.
The event, to be held at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in downtown Los Angeles, is scheduled for Feb. 11, two days before Super Bowl 56 will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
Live entertainment for the fourth annual, Carnival-style party will feature rapper Lil Wayne, DJs Zedd and Diplo and a special performance by a 7-1 man who’s likely the tallest DJ on the planet.
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"I never know what I’m going to do until I read the crowd," O’Neal said during an interview via Zoom this week. "I’m actually two types of DJs. I could deejay Top 40 all day, but when I see those kids, they want that hard, dubstep and they start mosh pitting. That’s what I really like to do.
"But I’m sure this will be a corporate event, so I’ll probably just have to go Top 40, like all feel good music."
On Thursday, O’Neal canceled a DJ appearance at a New Year’s Eve event in Coachella while announcing on Instagram he’d been exposed to multiple people who had tested positive for COVID-19. On Tuesday, O’Neal told USA TODAY Sports that he’d tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday.
Fun House tickets, which start at $249.99 and includes food, open bar and attractions, go on sale Friday. VIP tickets start at $999.99
Attendees and staff are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon entry, according to a news release. Face coverings will be required when not actively eating and drinking and Shaq’s Fun House is offering a full money back guarantee if the event is canceled because of COVID-19, according to the news release.
"Listen, Super Bowl weekend, especially after all the stuff we’ve been through (with the coronavirus pandemic), nobody wants to go to a boring party," he said. "So if you want to go to a party where you just sit around and you look at people and you listen to some music, you go do that. If you want to have a party where you’re going to dance and have fun, get some drinks and get lots of food and see great artists, you know where to go to, and that’s Shaq’s Fun House.
"We will have a helluva time. Trust me."
O’Neal, who won four NBA titles, said he always has taken seriously his job as an entertainer – whether it was on the basketball court or deejaying.
"My father took me to an NBA game one day, and it was a terrible game and he was upset," O’Neal said. "I could never understand why he was upset until I had an opportunity to play in front of a crowd. And his message was, if people pay to watch you perform, my brother, give them a good show.
"Because of your luck, you get paid a lot of money to do this. But people that’s paying $20 a ticket don’t have $20 to be just throwing around. So I take pride in putting on a good show."
Unlike the first three Fun House parties, this one will take place in O’Neal’s adopted hometown – and home since joining the Lakers in 1996.
"All of my celebrity friends are going to be there," he said, and previous attendees include Kansas Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, actor Jamie Foxx and musician Adam Levine.
Talk with O’Neal went beyond his party. He also addressed the state of the Los Angeles Lakers and said he thinks his former team can be saved from mediocrity.
The Lakers were 19-19 entering their game against the Sacramento Kings Tuesday night, and O’Neal said
He said a key for the Lakers, 20-12 after beating Sacramento Kings 122-114 Tuesday night, is to avoid the No. 7 or No. 8 playoff seed. That likely would keep them from having to play the Golden State Warriors or Phoenix Suns in the first round. Provided the Lakers qualify for the playoffs, that is.
"When you’re younger, you’re worried about first place, second place, home court advantage," he said. "When you get old and you’re a veteran, especially LeBron (James), you try to turn it on and off.
"When the playoffs come, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to turn it on,’ and we’ll see what happens."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Shaquille O’Neal to deejay at Shaq’s Fun House Super Bowl party