Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal Accused Of Assault

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal Accused Of Assault

15-time NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal is the subject of an assault investigation in Atlanta after an incident that his lawyer has deemed “horseplay” resulted in the injury of a co-worker last year.

NBC Sports reports O’Neal, better known simply as Shaq, allegedly tackled a co-worker at a TV studio in Atlanta last year. Robert Williams, 44, told police he was attacked by the 7-foot-1, 325-pound basketball analyst just after midnight in May 2013.

“Shaquille O’Neal ran out of a room and hit me with a tackle punch to the back knocking me down and falling on top of me injuring my neck and back,” Williams said in a police report obtained by TMZ.

The incident occurred at Turner Studios, where Shaq co-hosts TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” according to the celebrity gossip site. Williams said he reported it to Turner Security and received medical care, but didn’t file a complaint with police until two months later on July 2.

WSB-TV reports Williams received “permanent injuries,” but Shaq’s lawyer said it’s been blown out of proportion.

“This was nothing more than horseplay,” attorney Dennis Roach said in a statement. “No one intended for anyone to get injured.”

Shaq has not been arrested or charged, but police are still investigating.

O’Neal, 42, retired from the NBA in 2011 after winning four NBA championships in 19 seasons. The larger-than-life personality has dabbled in law enforcement over the years and other jobs in sports and entertainment, including an upcoming new “Shaq Fu” fighting video game.

The actor (and sometimes rapper) took a Sportscaster U course at Syracuse University in 2009 to help prepare him for a professional broadcasting career. He’s been a commentator on “Inside the NBA” with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith for the past three years.

Chris Gil