Shaquille O'Neal's still calling the shots -- but now in the political arena -- telling TMZ it was HIS brilliant idea to endorse Republican NJ Gov. Chris Christie.
Shaq -- who's a native of Newark -- was in neighboring NYC last night when we asked about the Governor's newest strategy ... a 30-second campaign commercial featuring the big man (O'Neal not Christie).
Clearly, Shaq's a big fan ... telling us Christie's "a good man" who's done a lot for the Garden State. ... that's why he came up with what could be a game winning play for the Governor.