From his basketball career, to the commercials, business ventures, and post-career analyst jobs, Shaq’s net worth has blown up.
It’s no surprise that the man the call “The Big Diesel” is worth millions, even well after his playing career. Not only was he a Hall of Fame legend on the court, but we continue to see him everywhere off the hardwood. Shaq has remained in the spotlight long after his retirement, as the four-time NBA champions continues to work hard in order to grow his bank account. But how much is Shaq worth right now?
If you’re curious about Shaquille O Neal’s net worth, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain exactly how he built his empire and how he spends his money!
The Beginning of the Legend
Shaquille O’Neal was born to Lucille O’Neil and Joe Toney in 1972. Although Toney played basketball in high school and was offered a basketball scholarship, he was imprisoned for drug possession and relinquished his parental rights.
Shaq’s dad stood 6’1″ and his mom stood 6’2″. At 12, Shaq was already 6’6″ and showed no signs of slowing down. When he reached 6’10”, he started playing basketball in high school and his team achieved a 68-1 record during his reign.
Once he started playing college ball at Louisiana State University, Shaq was a two-time SEC player of the year, two-time All-American, and the Adolph Rupp Trophy as the player of the year.
Many players focus on basketball in college and let their education slip. Shaq, on the other hand, prioritized his education. He studied business at LSU, a degree that would help build his net worth. Although he left school early to go to the NBA, he continued his education while playing pro ball.
Shaq was the 1st pick in the NBA draft of 1992. His first team was the Orlando Magic, and his first mentor was Magic Johnson.
The Orlando Magic
In his rookie season, he displayed natural talent. His first week in the NBA he was named Player of the Week, a first for a rookie player.
After the season, he was also awarded the Rookie of the Year and All-Star Starter. In fact, he was the first All-Star Starter rookie since Michael Jordan. With Shaq on the team, the Magic increased their win rate by 20 games.
Until his departure from the Magic, Shaq set records, won awards, and laid the groundwork for his legacy — and his future net worth.
The Los Angeles Lakers
Shaquille O’Neal soon became a free agent and joined the 1996 Olympic team, which went on to win the gold medal. On the first day of the Olympics, Shaq announced that he was joining the LA Lakers for a seven-year contract.
The contract was worth more than $121 million. At the time, it was the biggest NBA contract in history.
His first season with the Lakers was a mixed bag. Shaq missed lots of games due to repetitive injury and the Lakers were eliminated in the playoffs. And Shaq was almost suspended for fighting Dennis Rodman on the court!
Following the fight, Shaq commented, “It’s one thing to talk tough and one thing to be tough.” This confidence and eagerness to fight stayed with him for the rest of his career.
The Lakers signed the teenage prodigy Kobe Bryant and the two had a contentious relationship. Kobe and Shaq came close to fistfights on multiple occasions! These conflicts were driven by innate confidence and drove both to become better players.
These were arguably the golden years for Shaq, and he came out of his time with the Lakers with three championship rings.
Leaving the Court
The rest of Shaq’s pro basketball player career was plagued with injuries and team changes but was no less successful.
Shaq was signed to the Miami Heat for more than $100 million and soon extended the contract for a further $100 million.
Then, he was moved to the Phoenix Suns and then the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was making more than $20 million every year.
His last team was the Boston Celtics, for a modest sum of $2.8 million. After 19 years in the NBA, he announced his retirement in 2011.
Shaq’s Net Worth
Combining all his investments, contract deals, basketball salary, and endorsement deals, Shaq has an estimated net worth of $400 million. At one time, he was the highest-paid player in the league and earned an estimated total of $292,198,327.
And he wasted no time spending that money. One hour after signing his first contract, he had already spent one million dollars!
First, he bought a Mercedes Benz for $150,000. Then he bought a matching one for his dad and the third one for good measure. After that, he bought a house for his mom.
Then, he bought himself jewelry and clothes for a total of one million in under an hour. He said he had no regrets on these expenditures, but soon learned how to manage his basketball player salary.
Shaq the Business Man
After his business education, Shaquille O’Neal used his income for investments. He owns more than 155 Five Guys locations, making up more than 10% of the company’s franchises. He also invested in Auntie Anne’s pretzel company.
He also invested more than $20 million in Fruity Pebbles, Vitamin Water, Muscle Milk, and AriZona. It’s worth noting that he’s rejected opportunities with Starbucks and other high-profile companies because he doesn’t use their products himself. He wants to be able to personally stand by all his investments.
He also owns several 24 Hour Fitness locations and became a Google investor before the company went public. He also owns a big share of The General auto insurance as well as several car wash companies.
This diverse portfolio of investments is what brought Shaq’s net worth from the $200 million in basketball salary to more than $400 million.
A Life of Luxury
For himself, Shaq has bought tons of sports cars, luxury bicycles, and a chopper. He also has several real estate investments and recently sold his $16 million Florida mansion.
Like many fathers, Shaq spoils his children. He’s bought his children sports cars, houses, and expensive gifts.
He also bought a home for a paralyzed 12-year old whose story touched his heart. Shaq even bought a laptop for a fan, showing his heart is just as big as he is.
Shaq’s Net Worth & More!
Shaquille O’Neal has had a truly amazing career that has spanned decades. His dominance off the court is mirrored in his dominance in the business world, and he plays just as hard as he works.
If you enjoyed learning about Shaq’s net worth you’ll love the rest of our content. Check out Total Pro Sports for more athlete profiles and all the latest NBA sports news.