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Shaquille O’Neal tells story proving Stevie Wonder wasn’t blind

Shaquille O’Neal, Stevie Wonder

Retired NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal told an interesting story about Stevie Wonder during Thursday night’s episode of Inside the NBA on TNT.

At first, Shaq was reluctant to tell the story in its entirety. His co-host, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, pressed the issue, so The Big Diesel obliged.

“I know the story,” Smith shouted. “He’s gotta tell it!”

With a smile on his face, O’Neal went on to explain a chance meeting he had with Stevie Wonder, who somehow recognized the 7-3 big man without introduction.

“It’s a true story,” Shaq began. “We lived in a building on Wiltshire. I’m coming through the lobby and the door opens. It’s Stevie Wonder. He comes in and says ‘What’s up, Shaq? How you doin’, big dog?’ He presses the (elevator) button, gets off on his floor, buys something and goes to his room.

“I went and called every person I knew.”

Hmm… Interesting indeed. How did Stevie, a blind man, know that it was Shaq walking through that door?

O’Neal isn’t the first person to claim that Stevie Wonder might be able to see. Lionel Richie, a friend of Wonder’s, told his story on an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show.

According to reports, Wonder was born six weeks prematurely, which led to his blindness. He developed retinopathy of prematurity in the hospital’s incubator — a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted.

Blind or not, Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest artists of this era. The Michigan native went on to win 25 Grammy Awards, as well as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. And in 1983, he was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.