“Shaq hasn’t moved that fast since he was in the NBA.”

By Stacey Leasca
July 24, 2018
Courtesy of Discovery Channel

Shaquille O'Neal may be over 7 feet tall, but he's still no match for a shark.

While filming the program "Shaq Does Shark Week," a part of the Discovery Channel’s yearly Shark Week event, Shaq came face-to-face with one of his biggest fears.

In a new clip, the basketball great enters a custom-made "Shaq Cage" that stands 12 feet tall by 6 feet wide in the Bahamas. The team built the cage with extra-large windows for better visibility. However, those larger windows made it possible for one little guy to squeeze through the cage and swim over the NBA great’s head. And the scary moment marked the first time a shark has been able to enter a dive cage in Shark Week’s entire 30-year history.

The team behind the camera quickly helped Shaq get out of the cage,though he did not appear too rattled. After exiting the enclosure, he said, “I survived a shark attack, you b**ches!”

“The space between the [cage’s] bars was different than normal and the shark was able to wiggle into the cage,” Will Packer, one of the episode’s executive producers, told the New York Post. “Shaq hasn’t moved that fast since he was in the NBA.”

And really, this could have been quite the ordeal for Shaq, who also recently revealed to the Post that he’s actually terrified of the marine creatures.

“I’m terrified of sharks,” he said. “I’ve watched ‘When Animals Attack’ 1 through 10. Remember 'Jaws?' And I live in Florida, so all the shark attacks in Florida…”

Shaq added that he was incredibly apprehensive to do any shoots with the animals because of his paralyzing fear.

“I didn’t want to do it,” he said. “I stayed by the stairs [in the Atlantis pool] and I noticed when I stayed by the stairs the sharks were looking at me … one shark came really close but he saw me and quickly went away. My fear was that I looked like a seal.”

But, in the end, he faced his fears and even survived a… Shaq Attack. (Sorry.)

Check out Shark Week on the Discovery Channel all week long through Sunday, July 29, and watch older programming on Discovery’s site. Then, start planning your own shark diving adventure, if you dare.

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