Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal’s affection for Krispy Kreme doughnuts is well-documented. In 2009, the four-time NBA champion was filmed staring longingly at a glazed variety, as Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” played in the background. He even once asked Siri to order Charles Barkley two boxes of Krispy Kremes.
Starting today, he joins the doughnut chain in a more official capacity, as both an owner of a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts franchise and as global spokesperson for the brand.
Shaq took to Twitter to announce the news on Monday morning:
The basketball Hall-of-Famer is a lifelong Krispy Kreme fan and is often photographed partaking of the glazed treats. Krispy Kreme counts several basketball legends among its legions of fans and, earlier this year, even peddled a limited-edition, doughnut-inspired basketball shoe with Nike.
But Shaq loves the gooey treats so much he bought a store full of them, taking ownership of the historic Krispy Kreme shop on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta, Ga., which opened more than 60 years ago.
Shaq even spent a day at Krispy Kreme headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., during which he said he felt like a kid in a toy store and ate doughnuts directly off the assembly line:
This isn’t O’Neal’s first stint off the court. In 2015, he became a reserve police officer in South Florida. Should he take his new line of work home with him, he might face some scrutiny from his fellow officers. In July, a Florida man was arrested when cops who pulled him over mistook some leftover Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze for crystal meth.