During trying times, Shaquille O’Neal, Rob Gronkowski join forces to ‘party with a purpose’

Attention, all Hollywood producers. Shaquille O'Neal and Rob Gronkowski have an idea for the next blockbuster event of the year.  

“Any producer that wants to redo 'Step Brothers' or 'Twins,'” O'Neal said. 

“We’ll do any scene," Gronkowski cut in. "You just come up with it, we’ll do it, we’ll give it our best shot. That’s what we do.” 

The towering twosome will bring that same energy next Saturday when they host "Shaq's Fun House vs. Gronk Beach," a virtual, live-streamed party that will air live on TikTok and www.ShaqVsGronk.com at 8 p.m. ET.

The event, presented by The General Insurance, will feature musical performances from artists such as DaBaby, Snoop Dogg, Diplo and Steve Aoki. For sports fans, the marquee entertainment will come when O'Neal and Gronkowski square off head-to-head in a set of six challenges. The winner of each event earns a donation to his charity in the name of social justice, as the country confronts racial inequality amid a global pandemic.

“We’re aware of all the stuff that’s going on," O'Neal said. "The country’s doing a beautiful job of bringing awareness to the situation at hand. Now’s it time for the movers and shakers to get the laws and legislation changed. But this is going to be a fun event.

“We’re partying with a purpose. I don’t want everyone to think ‘Oh, those guys are just partying.’ Because we know for a fact, and research has been done, especially by myself, music and sports bring people together. Doesn’t matter what your agendas are. Those two things always bring people together and Gronk and I happen to dominate both.” 

The money raised will go to the NAACP (Gronkowski) or the Boys & Girls Club (O'Neal). DoorDash and Feeding America have teamed up to donate as much as 1.25 million meals during the course of the party. Taylor Rooks of Turner Sports will host, alongside comedian JB Smoove. 

One challenge is a lip-syncing battle and, despite O'Neal's career in the rap game and as a DJ, Gronkowski thinks he has the upper hand. 

"I’ve listened to him perform and rap. I’m not too sure he’s going to win the lip-syncing competition," said Gronkowski, who came out of retirement this offseason and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I can tell you this, I’m fresh off the Masked Singer … I know what to do, I’m trained right now." 

Gronkowski's confidence simmers when describing his prospects in the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin' Challenge, though. 

"I'm not good with spicy food," the three-time Super Bowl winner said. 

But a desire to shovel down more calories behooves Gronkowski, who admitted he needs to add mass to his 6-foot-6 frame as he prepares his first NFL season after a year off. 

“Shaq said it right earlier, I’m solid, I’m still solid, baby," he said. "But I understand they want me to put weight back on so I’m going to eat as many Buffalo Wild Wings as I can eat, because I’ve got to get beefy again." 

Other events include HORSE, jousting, a steak challenge and the Rocket Mortgage Sports Showdown, which might end up being a fancy name for an obstacle course, although neither O'Neal nor Gronkowski were entirely sure what it entailed.

O'Neal himself may even morph into DJ Diesel — the Hall of Famer's stage name — and spin a set on the turntables. 

"It reminds me of what I used to do and what Rob still does — when you come in that stadium and there’s 50, 60, 70,000 people cheering you on to have a good time," the four-time NBA champion said. "That’s why I like DJ’ing, because I need that adrenaline." 

O'Neal and Gronkowski admired each other from afar without meeting each other until a couple of years ago. A dance-off from the night they formally met in March 2018 went viral.

"When I first met him I was like, ‘Oh my god, that’s my white twin brother,’" O'Neal said. "Dominating athlete, likes to party, likes to have a good time. I told my people, ‘I want to have a separate meeting with him.’ I was like ‘Bro, we brought the world together last night. I want to do it forever.’”

They just might. Their two companies have parties scheduled together until 2025 and plan to be at every upcoming Super Bowl. 

"Whenever we’re partying, whenever we’re out and about, we just love to see everyone having a good time," Gronkowski said. "We don’t want anyone sitting in the corner, just relaxing. We’re there to inspire the whole entire party.

“That’s what this event is about. It’s about uniting people. It’s about bringing everyone together and (to) show that you can have a good time with everyone, that you can go out there and have fun, no matter what the situation is.” 

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