By Mariah Haas
Published September 18, 2019
A recent interview with Shaquille O'Neal took an unexpected turn.
The former NBA star appeared on E! News' "Daily Pop" show where he was promoting his new clothing, and during the segment, titled "Shaquille O'Neal Shoots His Shot With 'Daily Pop' Guest Host Rocsi," O'Neal couldn't stop making flirtatious comments toward Rocsi Diaz, 35.
It all started when O'Neal, 47, was asked by co-host Carissa Culiner to show off his best modeling skills and share a "little flirty fun" for the cameras, which prompts O'Neal to stare and make "eyebrow raises" as well as "call me" gestures to Diaz.
"I'm lost," Diaz said while laughing, before calling one of his looks "sad and pouty."
“I could never be sad and pouty with you sitting there,” O'Neal responded, before adding: “She’s always in my DM’s I just wanted you to know that."
“Oh my god," a flustered Diaz said. "Let's tell the truth."
O'Neal, who was clearly trying to provoke a reaction, told Culiner that he couldn't tell her "some of the things" Diaz says, before claiming: "You know what she says? She says, ‘Even though I’m Spanish, you know I like that chocolate’. For real."
“And I tell her, ‘Once you go Shaq, you never go back,'" he added.
Diaz let out a laugh before telling O'Neal to, again, "tell the truth" about their social media exchanges. The TV personality went on to explain that she messaged O'Neal to let him know that she'd be interviewing him and to "make [her] look good."
"You did not tell me that... She didn't tell me," stated O'Neal, before commenting that Diaz owed him a date for not giving him a heads up.
At the end of the interview, O'Neal laughed and confessed: "I'm just playing, America. I'm just playing, America."
The interview left fans divided, with some criticizing O'Neal's behavior.
"Shaq’s incessant flirting is making me uncomfortable. Let Rocsi work in peace. #dailypop," one person stated. "Honestly, this was awkward and cringey," commented another individual.
While others thought O'Neal's comments were all in good fun. "He was doing a flirty fun impressions, it was innocent," said one person.
Echoed another: "I watched this interview and it was all in fun. They were both very funny, it was all good!"