'Can I Purchase A Robot': NBA Hall of Famer Wants A Tesla Bot, Will Elon Musk Help Him Out?

Zinger Key Points
  • A former NBA star is interested in buying a Tesla Optimus robot.
  • The bot won't be available for deliveries for three to five years.

A legendary National Basketball Association player and champion is among the people interested in the new Tesla Optimus robot that was shown off at the recent AI Day 2022 by Tesla Inc TSLA.

What Happened: Tesla unveiled a new prototype of a working Tesla Optimus robot at its AI Day 2022 last Friday.

The robot has been met with mixed reactions by investors and the public. One former NBA player is among the people interested in paying $20,000 for a robot that could be used to complete household chores like mowing the lawn or cleaning the house.

“Can I purchase a robot,” Shaquille O’Neal said in response to a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk showing a picture of the Optimus bot.

O’Neal, like others interested in the Optimus robot, will have to wait several years to be able to purchase one. Musk said during the Q&A portion of the AI Day event, that deliveries wouldn’t start for three to five years.

Musk previously said that the Optimus bot will be able to complete repetitive and boring tasks like cooking, mowing lawns and taking care of the elderly. The Tesla CEO said the robot could serve “millions of households.”

“I believe that as long as we are not complacent and always maintain a sense of urgency, the future of humanity will be bright, driven by the power of technology,” Musk said.

The Tesla CEO said that people could consider buying the robot as a gift for their parents as a birthday present.

Related Link: 9 Stocks With Shaquille O'Neal Ties 

Why It’s Important: O’Neal is no stranger to Tesla and its innovative products. The NBA star showed off his Tesla Model S in a 2018 video from Unplugged Performance.

The NBA star also went viral in 2020 sharing his Tesla Model S on TikTok. The 7 foot 1 inch NBA Hall of Famer had trouble getting into the passenger side of his car.

“Elon, you wanna make a big boy Tesla,” O’Neal asked in the video.

O’Neal hasn’t shared why he wants to buy the Optimus bot or what he thinks of the $20,000 price tag.

A robot from Toyota Motors TM went viral for its basketball skills at the 2020 Summer Olympics. The seven-foot tall robot from Toyota showed off its three-point shooting capabilities. Called CUE, the robot broke a Guinness World Record for consecutive free throws made prior to the Olympics.

CUE can’t dribble or dunk, and can only take shots from set places on a basketball court.

Musk hasn’t hinted that Optimus could someday play sports, but O’Neal’s interest leads to a provocative idea of robots taking part in sports contests decades in the future.

Photo: Courtesy of PBS NewsHour on flickr

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