As UFOs return to the center-stage a hot-bed of debate, it appears that NBA great Shaquille O’Neal has the best story of a purported UFO.

At least, if you live in these neck of the woods.

Appearing on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday, O’Neal told Kimmel that he spotted a UFO while visiting the San Joaquin Valley in the late 1990s.

O’Neal said he was on a double date in Madera with one of his friends, Chris Flores, in 1997.

“Right when we passed the fairground, I could swear I saw a flying saucer come down with all the lights and it was spinning and then it took off,” O’Neal said. “We all looked at each other and it was like, I know it was a UFO. I don’t care what anybody says.”

O’Neal, Flores, and their two dates were returning from a trip to Madera’s now-closed Hollywood Video movie rental store.

For many years during and after the Kobe-Shaq era of the Lakers franchise, the Lakeshow would host exhibition games at Fresno’s Selland Arena (and later the Save Mart Center).

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.