Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal is a four-time NBA champion and a former American basketball player who played for six teams in the championship. He enjoyed a lengthy and stellar career and is considered one of the greatest centres and players in NBA history.
In addition to his multiple NBA titles, Shaq also earned numerous individual accolades, including winning the Rookie of the Year and MVP award.
Shaq’s immense success on the court has brought some financial rewards over the years and he has parlayed his stardom into other ventures. From appearances in TV and movies, his music career and brand endorsements, the retired superstar has amassed a net worth of $400m
These days, Shaquille O’Neal is a sports analyst who features on Inside the NBA, a postgame studio show for the NBA on TNT broadcasts.
Early life and High School and College Career
Shaq was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey to Lucille O’Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball and was a basketball scholarship recipient sponsored to play at Seton Hall.
He came from a tall family as his father and mother stood 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) tall, respectively. Shaq was already standing 6ft 6” by age 13 and today stands at a towering 7ft 1” tall.
Seemingly destined for greatness on the basketball court, Shaq caught the eye at Robert G. Cole High School, leading the team to a 68-1 record over two years and helped the team to the state championship during his senior year.
After graduating from high school, O’Neal attended Louisiana State University (LSU), where his basketball talents shone through once again. He was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, and received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men’s basketball player of the year in 1991;
Although O’Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, he continued his education even after becoming a professional player and ultimately graduated with a business degree.
He was later inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame while A 900-pound (410 kg) bronze statue of O’Neal is located in front of the LSU Basketball Practice Facility.
A Basketball Maverick
Shaq was drafted by the Orlando Magic as the first overall draft pick ahead of the 1992/93 season. He enjoyed a great spell with the Magic and was named Rookie of the Year before leading the team to the 1995 NBA finals
His greatest success would come with the Los Lakers where he signed as a free agent and won three NBA titles between 2000 and 2002. He was also named regular season MVP, the finals MVP three times and his number 34 jersey was retired by the team.
However, a squabble with teammate and late legend Kobe Bryant led to his exit from the team. He joined the Miami Heat, where a fourth NBA title followed in 2006 while his number 32 shirt was also retired by the team
Although Shaq went on to play for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, incessant injury problems saw his call time on his career.
In addition to his Stellar basketball career, Shaq also launched a music career as a rap artist. He began on that path in 1993, releasing five studio albums and one compilation album. He also famously featured as a guest rapper in Michael Jackson’s “2 Bad”, a song from Jackson’s 1995 album titled, “HIStory”.
His father, Joe Toney was seldom a good influence on his growth having struggled with drug addiction and possession which led him to prison while the 15-time NBA All-star was an infant. Even worse, Toney relinquished his biological position for decades as Shaq’s father to O’Neal’s Jamaican stepfather, Philip Arthur Harrison, an army sergeant.
This personal situation inspired Shaq’s album in 1994 titled Shaq Fu: The Return. Shaq revealed his anger at Toney in his track, “Biological Didn’t bother” in which he said, “Phil is not my father”.
A Huge Commercial Asset
O’Neal made several appearances on television adverts, including Pepsi commercials in 1995. He also appeared in commercials for companies and products such as Reebok, Nestle Crunch, Gold Bond, Buick, The General, Papa John’s, Hulu, Espon and IcyHot.
In 2021, Shaq became a brand ambassador and strategic consultant on a long-term deal with WynnBET, an online gambling merchandise from the Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts.
In order to link up with WynnBET, Shaq sold his minority ownership stake in the Sacramento Kings which was widely believed to be 2-4% of the franchise which he acquired in 2013.
It remains unknown if Shaq has any ownership stake in Wynn’s online gambling business, but he owns an equity stake in their rivals PointsBet based on his endorsement of the sportsbook in Australia.
His endorsement of sportsbooks means he features prominently in advertising materials promoting the top NBA betting promos.
O’Neal was also on the covers of video games NBA Live 96, NBA 2K6, NBA 2K7, NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC, NBA Hoopz and NBA Inside Drive 2004.
As of 2022, O’Neal is among the five wealthiest NBA players with a $400 million net worth.
Shaq Of All Trades
Shaq made many appearances in the World Championship Wrestling in 1994, in one of which he presented the title belt to the winner of a heavyweight championship match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.
He served as the guest host for a live broadcast of WWE’s Monday Night Raw during which he got into a brawl with an altercation with Big Show but not for the only time as he faced the seven-foot-tall wrestler in his first-ever match in 2016.
He challenged different people to MMA-rules bouts including MMA star Choi Hong-man in 2019 and former Major League Baseball player Jose Canseco in 2012.
Shaq had pure artistic dexterities as he was one of the first African Americans to depict a major comic book superhero in a motion picture, having featured as John Henry Irons, the protagonist in the 1997 film Steel. He also appeared in cameo roles in the film Freddy Got Fingered, Jack and Jill and in several music videos.
He voiced animated versions of himself on several occasions, including in the animated series Static Shock (2002; episode “Static Shaq”), in Johnny Bravo (1997; episode “Back on Shaq”), in Uncle Grandpa (2014; episode “Perfect Kid”), and in The Lego Movie (2014). He also had a voice-over role in the 2013 film The Smurfs 2.
Shaquille O’Neal Net Worth?
O’Neal’s net worth is estimated to be around $400million, which is a testament to his hard work, talent, and strategic business ventures. He has shown that talent, hard work, and a savvy business acumen can also lead to financial prosperity post-retirement.