Basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, entrepreneur and television personality with a net worth of $400 million, has retired from playing and is now an entrepreneur and a television host. His NBA earnings alone totalled $292 million. During that time, he earned well over $200 million from endorsements. Despite Shaq’s many years being retired, he performs endorsements and participates in many business ventures that earn him about $60 million a year.
In 1972, Shaquille O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey to Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney. When O’Neal was a baby, his father had been incarcerated for drug possession. Upon his release from prison, his father left shortly after Shaq was born and they never married. The father and son were estranged for decades. Philip Harrison, a U.S. sergeant at the age of two, married his mother. In his youth, O’Neal was a part of the Boys & Girls Club of America. Because of the organization, he has been able to stay out of trouble.
They moved to Texas and Germany from Newark. As a high school student, Shaq gained attention due to his basketball talent. His senior year, Robert G. Cole High School won the state title. Later in his career, O’Neal became a two-time All-American at Louisiana State University. In 1991, he was also named the NCAA men’s basketball player of the year, receiving the Adolph Rupp’s Trophy.
During the 1992 draft, O’Neal was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic. In the following year, he was named Rookie of the Year and voted an All-Star starter, which had not been accomplished since Michael Jordan. As a result of Shaq’s second season, the Magic made it to their first playoff series. They made it to the finals the next year but lost to the Houston Rockets.
Even though O’Neal suffered numerous injuries during the 1995-96 season, the Orlando Magic still finished the regular season in the black. The Magic and O’Neal won their first two rounds of the playoffs that year but eventually lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
As part of the 2004 trade, O’Neal was acquired by the Miami Heat. Shaq signed a five-year deal with the team for $100 million the following year. However, he stated that he was seeking another championship and could have asked for more money. As a result, the Heat won their first title the very next year, and O’Neal won his fourth title.
O’Neal’s days of long-term contracts with teams came to an end in 2008. His first post-season failure came in his first season as a member of the Phoenix Suns, where he was traded after his rookie season. In the end, he was traded to clear the team’s budget for the following season. In addition to his final season with the Boston Celtics, he spent one year with the Cleveland Cavaliers (with Lebron James).
Shaquille O’Neal Salary
- 1992-93 Orlando Magic $3,000,000
- 1993-94 Orlando Magic $3,900,000
- 1994-95 Orlando Magic $4,800,000
- 1995-96 Orlando Magic $5,700,000
- 1996-97 Los Angeles Lakers $10,714,000
- 1997-98 Los Angeles Lakers $12,857,143
- 1998-99 Los Angeles Lakers $15,000,000
- 1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers $17,142,858
- 2000-01 Los Angeles Lakers $19,285,715
- 2001-02 Los Angeles Lakers $21,428,572
- 2002-03 Los Angeles Lakers $23,571,429
- 2003-04 Los Angeles Lakers $24,749,999
- 2004-05 Miami Heat $27,696,430
- 2005-06 Miami Heat $20,000,000
- 2006-07 Miami Heat $20,000,000
- 2007-08 Phoenix Suns $20,000,000
- 2008-09 Phoenix Suns $21,000,000
- 2009-10 Cleveland Cavaliers $20,000,000
- 2010-11 Boston Celtics $1,352,181
Total career NBA earnings = $292,198,327
Other Media & Business Venture
Early in the nineties, Shaq was having success as a rapper and actor, appearing in movies such as “Blue Chips” and “Kazamm”. Additionally, he has appeared in guest roles on several television shows and films, including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Parkers.” The first rap album he released was Shaq Diesel, which was certified platinum in 1993. DIESEL is his DJ and producer alias. Shaq has also appeared in several video games throughout his career.
The real estate and stock market have been O’Neal’s passions since the 1990s. In addition to his interests in sports, he has a keen interest in the business. On March 22, 2019, he was announced as a new board member at Papa John’s. During Shaq’s first three years in the new job, he will earn $8.25 million in salary and stock. In addition, he plans to invest $840,000 to buy 30% of a 9-unit Papa Johns franchise in Atlanta.
As an athlete, Shaquille O’Neal has embraced endorsements fully. Several companies have sought out his services as a spokesperson because of his instantly recognizable celebrity status. His high-profile endorsements include Pepsi and Reebok, but a full list of his endorsement deals and commercial appearances would be too long.
A doctoral degree in education is a remarkable achievement for Shaquille O’Neal. After earning his master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, O’Neal enrolled in a course at Barry University, a private Catholic institution. During the course, O’Neal mostly completed lessons online, reflecting his passion for education and desire to continue to challenge himself.
In December 2002, Shaq married Shaunie Nelson. In addition to Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah, the couple has four children. In addition to Taahirah, Shaq has a daughter with Arnetta Yardbourgh from a previous relationship. On September 7, 2007, O’Neal filed for divorce from Shaunie. However, in November 2009, Shaunie filed for divorce despite withholding their divorce. There were irreconcilable differences, according to her. Between 2010 and 2012, O’Neal dated reality star, Nicole Alexander. In 2014, Shaq met model Laticia Rolle.