ATTN Floridians: Shaq Wants To Save Your House!

Shaquille O’Neal keeps showing himself to be a civic-minded fellow. The Suns star has already joined as many local law enforcement agencies as he can. And he’s tried to help larger kids lose some weight with his “Shaq’s Big Challenge” show.

Now the Big Cactus wants to help homeowners suffering the big squeeze of foreclosure.


The ORLANDO SENTINEL reports that during a recent visit to Central Florida, Shaq announced plans to get into the local real estate business, by working on developments in the center of the Sunshine State. And part of his plans include aiding the local populace who are having trouble affording their abodes:

Attorney Mark NeJame, who arranged the visit along with longtime friend and Realtor Curtis Cooper, said the star center wants to buy the mortgages of homeowners who have slipped into foreclosure because of high interest rates. He would sell the homes back to those troubled buyers with more affordable terms, hoping to make a small profit.

And Shaq adds that he isn’t enamored with evicting anyone:

“I want to come in not to kick them out, but to work with them and save them so they can stay in their homes.”

Sort of a Robin Hood of the housing market, we suppose. If only Jose Canseco lived in Kissimmee-St. Cloud.

It will be interesting to see how Shaq’s proposed purchases play out. With a $20 million salary & just as much coming in from endorsements, it’s not like he needs the money. And the Big Realtor has mentioned he would like to retire to Orlando once his playing days are done, so there’s no real incentive in screwing his future neighbors.

And one big incentive for himself - he’d like to turn his development dealings into a reality TV show called “Shaq’s Big Save”. Because nothing grabs Nielsen numbers quite like sub-prime mortgage discussions.

But Shaq should be somewhat cautious. His last adventure in Florida real estate wasn’t so successful.