NBA megastar keeps keen fans on their toes

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 August, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 August, 1997, 12:00am

It is easy to forgive an NBA megastar, even if he is nearly two hours late.

Los Angeles Lakers' multi-million dollar man Shaquille O'Neal arrived in Hong Kong from Macau last night - although it appeared for a while he might not be coming at all.

Due to arrive at 6.15 pm on a chartered jetfoil from Macau, O'Neal kept a welcoming committee, including about 20 handpicked fans, waiting until 8.10 pm before looming large.

The fans, selected schoolchildren clad in Shaq T-shirts, had even written a special ditty for their hero which went: 'Shaq, Shaq Shaq! You are welcome to be here to rap rap rap! Show your talent to your fans!' This was sung with much enthusiasm as 6.15 pm drew near but after an hour of waiting, was reduced to a mere grumble as the rap rap rap became the tap tap tap of impatient shoes.

All was forgiven, however, when the 2.16 metres tall star eventually showed up.

He was led through a corridor of security men to a limousine which took him to his hotel.

O'Neal had to land in Macau because his private jet was apparently refused parking rights in Hong Kong.

He will appear this afternoon at Times Square for a Rap and Slam show and will perform in the evening at Planet Hollywood.