There’s something fishy about ‘Diesel’ in the driver’s seat

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Updated Jun 14, 2018
The “Tanked” television series featured the design behind a tank of predator fish installed in a truck grille in basketball star Shaquille O’Neal’s home, which is for sale.The “Tanked” television series featured the design behind a tank of predator fish installed in a truck grille in basketball star Shaquille O’Neal’s home, which is for sale.

The basketball star who gave the world his “Shaq Diesel” rap album in 1993 has his Florida mansion, complete with a life-sized big rig art installment on one wall, up for sale.

If you have a spare $28 million, Shaquille O’Neal’s home is yours.

The truck creation is built around the front end of what appears to be a Kenworth. It protrudes from wall art that fleshes out the rest of the truck, including O’Neal piloting the big rig. “Diesel,” one of the retired basketball great’s nicknames, is emblazoned on the front bumper.

The Florida residence, southwest of Jacksonville on Lake Butler, is listed with Sotheby’s International Realty. Of its 31,000 square feet, 6,000 are devoted to an indoor basketball court, says Sotheby’s.

Embedded in the grille is a fish tank. A Superman logo, referring to another nickname, appears on the grille and in other rooms of the sprawling mansion.

“The fish tank was created when Shaq was on the show ‘Tanked’ —a show about high-end custom fish tanks,” says Sotheby’s spokeswoman Lindsey Scharf.

You can watch that episode on YouYube. “You know what I see when I see this?” asks one of the fish tank contractors on the show, pointing to a large-screen TV in one of the home’s living rooms. “Looks like the front of a truck. Why don’t we do a diesel truck? Just like his nickname!”

At the show’s conclusion, only the truck hood with the fish tank has been installed, replacing the TV and its console.

“The painting portion on the wall must have come after, which was probably just Shaq wanting to make it ‘bigger,’” says Scharf.

The Orlando Sentinel says the home is “behind the gates of Isleworth, a prestigious private golf club community in Central Florida.”

“The astonishing estate was designed with lake views in mind for almost every room,” says the listing. “Other highlights include gated entry, full house Crestron technology, 17-plus car garages with showroom details, 3 fireplaces, walk-in humidor and wine storage, two-story ceilings, 15 feet in depth pool with rock wall water feature, summer kitchen, custom chef’s kitchen, covered cabana and 10-foot privacy wall.”

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Citing public records, the Wall Street Journal says O’Neal paid $3.95 million for the property. That was in 1993, when he played for the Orlando Magic.

“The outdoor area, nicknamed ‘Shaq-apulco,’ has a 95-foot-long swimming pool with a rock waterfall and hot tub,” the Journal says. “A swim-up bar provides access to a covered outdoor kitchen.”

You can view other photos of the home on the Sotheby’s listing.

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