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Jetset Magazine Jan Feb Issue Tom Zenner Article with Shaq

Jetset Magazine Jan Feb Issue Tom Zenner Article with Shaq

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Published by Tom Zenner
Tom Zenner Interviews Shaq about his travel strategies
Tom Zenner Interviews Shaq about his travel strategies

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Published by: Tom Zenner on Feb 24, 2010
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02/24/2010

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SHAQUILLE O’NEAL
is one of the most dynamic, engaging,funny, and downright dominating athletes we’ve ever seen. Now in Cleveland co-starring with Lebron James, Shaq talks exclusively to Jetset Magazine and goes public about flying private.
Pound for pound and cubic square inch forcubic square inch, there has never, ever beena bigger sports star to walk this planet thanShaquille O’Neal. The first thing you noticewhen meeting him is his mega-white smile thatcould light up a runway on a dark, cloudy nightand enough boundless energy, determina-tion, strength, and flat-out horsepower that, ifyou could somehow harness it into a reusablefuel, you’d power a city the size of Seattle untilthe next Ice Age. He’s an icon in high-tops,a one-man brand and corporation that getsto wear shorts and a tank top to work everyday. Globally recognized to the point that,like Prince, Madonna, Bono, and Pele, onlyone name is needed to describe the big fella:Shaq. Plus, let’s not forget, he’s flat out a hugeman! A big part of his charm is, even thoughhe stands 7 feet tall, weighs somewherebetween 320 and 360 depending on the moodof the scale that particular day, sports a size22 shoe, and wears diamond stud earringsthe size of grapefruits, Shaq seems like he’sone of us. He enjoys interacting with people hehas just met. He treats everyone with respectand dignity, whether it’s a fellow millionaire, abillionaire team owner, the team trainer, beervendor, or the guys in charge of cleaning thearena after a game.Now starring in Cleveland on probably the final journey of his absolutely historic career, Shaqis looking to add to his collection of bling, with afifth NBA Championship ring a definite possibil-ity as he teams with Lebron James to form themost lethal one-two punch of star power since,well, sorry Sonny and Cher, Hall and Oates,Siegfried and Roy, Brad and Angelina, Donnyand Marie, and Bogie and Bacall—ever.There isn’t much to say about Shaq that hasn’tbeen already chronicled, except for somethingthat everyone from high-profile corporate CEOsof Fortune 500 empires to rap stars, actors,accountants, Internet entrepreneurs, grandmoth-ers, gardeners, chefs, sheiks, senior VPs, seniorcitizens, and everyone else in between willfind fascinating—how one of the world’s mostrecognizable stars travels when he’s not play-ing basketball. Just how long he’s been flyingprivate, what his favorite jets are, and how hecouldn’t really do all he needs to during his shortoff-season if not for the convenience of private jet travel. To be perfectly honest, though, thething I found most fascinating about Shaq duringthe exclusive interview he granted for JetsetMagazine is this: yeah, Shaq travels via private jet the majority of the time, but if you think yousee someone that looks like him going throughthe first-class security line at O’Hare, JFK, LAX,or Cleveland-Hopkins International, you justmight be right. As we learned from the big manhimself, if he has to fly commercial to get to anappointment and there’s no other alternative,he will. “I flew to Cleveland from Orlando when I
Cover story by Tom Zenner 
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