Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born on March 6, 1972 in Newark, New Jersey to Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney. That kid grew into a 7-foot-1 man-among-boys, both on the basketball floor in the NBA and also off of it in entertainment, education, law enforcement and some keen investing.
From Fruity Pebbles to Google, “The Big Aristotle” has capitalized on a ton of smart investments over the years. Today, the four-time NBA champion and 15-time NBA All-Star is worth so much money, it overshadows his gigantic stature and size-23 shoes.
After a being named a McDonald’s High School All-American coming out of Robert G. Cole in San Antonio (TX), “The Big Agave” enrolled at Louisiana State University. In college, he became a two-time SEC Player of the Year and two-time All American. He also won the Adolph Rupp Trophy in 1991, given to the NCAA’s men’s basketball player of the year.
“Manny Shaq-iaou” was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic and immediately took over the NBA with his dominating presence, unmatched power and deceptively quick feet near the basket delivered him the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year trophy. Right out of the gate, his dominance became opposing team’s nightmares.
Over a 19-year NBA career that featured three NBA Finals MVP Awards, a league MVP in 2000, plus signing several huge contracts to pair with a list of smart investments, “The Big Galactus” created a massive amount of wealth, both on and off the court. Although he’s no longer a professional basketball player today, “Shaq Fu” is a TV analyst, a doctor, a disc jockey, and about 100 other things at 46-years-young.
Today, Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth exceeds $400 million.
In the 1990s, “Mayor McShaq” starred in movies Blue Chips and Kazaam, and released a CIAA certified platinum rap album, which only elevated his status as an entertainer, as well as a star basketball player.
In 1996, “The Big Conductor” signed a massive seven-year, $121 million contract to join the Los Angeles Lakers. “The Diesel” announced his massive contract prior to winning a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. After being named the league’s MVP in 2000 to go along with three-straight NBA titles and three-straight Finals MVP awards, “The Big IPO” left California and Kobe Bryant for his next destination: South Florida.
“The Big Leprechaun” signed another massive five-year, $100 million deal to join the Miami Heat, where he won his fourth NBA title alongside Dwayne Wade. Over the final four season with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, “The Big Maravich” took home another $62 million.
After 19 NBA seasons, “Shaq Daddy” left the NBA, but his accrual of some serious wealth was far from over.
“The Big Field General” might be retired from basketball, but he still makes $22 million a year through endorsement deals with from AriZona Cream Soda, Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, and Zales. O’Neal also makes his annual TV salary as a member of the NBA on TNT’s hilarious crew of Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and host Ernie Johnson.
In addition, “The Big Baryshnikov” is no slouch in making major moves financially. This is just a short list, but here are some of the best investments that have paid huge dividends:
— 17 Auntie Anne’s pretzel restaurants
— 50 car washes
— 155 Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises
— Muscle Milk
— A Movie Theater.
Oh, and “The Big IPO” bought pre-IPO Google Stock valued at $85 per share, which are now over $700 a piece.
After basketball, “The Big eQuotatious” earned his Doctorate of Education in Human Resource Development from Barry University and was sworn in as a sheriff’s deputy in Jonesboro, Georgia.
You can try and live as cool of a life as “The Big Shamrock,” but there’s a slim chance you’ll measure up to one of the greatest NBA players to ever live.
This post was originally published on August 22, 2018.