The former NBA star and N.J. native served out a playful slap to pal Mayor Cory Booker’s backside Friday — while the mayor and senator-wannabe answered questions about his stripper pal.
A grinning Shaq reached over with his right hand and landed one on Booker’s behind as the pol stood at a podium to promote One Riverview, the first high-rise to go up in beleaguered Newark in 50 years, reported The New York Post.
Booker picked up his shovel for the ceremonial first dirt-dig, then cracked to his cronies: "If you hit a reporter, I’ll give you five bucks. I’ve never been so tempted to throw dirt at the media."
Booker’s remarks came just days after headlines that he had a Twitter flirtation with buxom Oregon stripper Lynsie Lee hit the tabloids.
Booker declined to answer questions about his twitter exchanges with Lee, who was back working the pole at Portland vegan strip joint Casa Diablo on Thursday night.
“I did get kind of a crush on him, and so I tweeted him flirtatious things,” Lee said in a video posted at oregonlive.com. “But he never reciprocated the flirty-flirtiness."
Meanwhile, Booker was getting more than support from O'Neal — a partner in the new, 23-story, 169-unit apartment tower. He got an earful of Shaq's rebellious Newark upbringing as well.
"I was born in Newark, raised in Newark, did a lot of juvenile-delinquent activities in Newark," O’Neal told the crowd. "I’d like to thank my Uncle Mike, who was a Newark cop. First time I stole candy, he was the first one to place me under arrest.
“My mother and father always taught me that if I became successful, to give back, so I wanted to do my part and help beautify Newark,” Shaq declared.
Endorsing Booker’s political aspirations, he said: “Thank you to Senator Booker, Mayor Booker, President Booker … whatever you do, I’m a vote for you.”