Shaquille O’Neal is an American-born basketball player who is hailed as one of the greatest centers and players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) history. He played for six NBA teams over his 19-year career in professional basketball.
However, it’s not just his work as a great basketball player that has contributed to his financial success. Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth is also impacted by his work as an entrepreneur, an electronic music producer, and his film and reality show appearances made appearances. Let’s take a look at his most successful projects and trace his career from his early days until now.
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 6, 1972. His father, Joey Toney, played high school basketball and played Seton Hall after being offered a scholarship. But he struggled with drug addiction and was jailed for drug possession when Shaq was still an infant. After his release, Toney did not resume a place in his son’s life. Instead, he gave up his parental rights to Shaq’s Jamaican stepfather, Philip Arthur Harrison.
In Shaq’s 1994 rap album Shaq Fu: Da Return, he expressed his disdain towards his biological father through the song “Biological Didn’t Bother“. Furthermore, he dismissed him with the line, “Phil is my father.”
However, his feelings for Toney mellowed following his stepfather’s passing in 2013. In fact, Shaq and Toney met for the first time in 2016, with the basketball player telling his dad, “I don’t hate you. I had a good life. I had Phil.”
O’Neal comes from a tall family. His mother, Lucille O’Neal, and his biological father stood 6 ft. 2 and 6 ft. 1 tall, respectively. At the age of thirteen, he already stood 6 ft. 6 tall. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America gave him an avenue and safe place to play, eventually keeping O’Neal off the streets.
At sixteen, he grew to 6 ft. 10 and started playing basketball. He led his team, Robert G. Cole High School to a 68-1 win-loss record for two years. Also, he significantly contributed to the team winning state championships during his senior year. He grabbed 791 rebounds in the 1989 season, making it a state record for a basketball player in any classification.
If you have watched Shaq play, his hook shots are very noticeable. His hook shots even earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s. It eventually inspired him to use a similar jersey number as Kareem, No. 33.
In 1992 NBA Draft, The Orlando Magic drafted Shaq as the first overall pick. He immediately became one of the best centers in the NBA, winning the Rookie of the Year Award and leading the Magic to the 1995 NBA finals.
After his stint with the Orlando Magic, he signed as a free agent with Los Angeles Lakers. The team won an NBA championship three times in a row – from 2000, 2001, and 2002. Amid the tension between Kobe Bryant and O’Neal, the Lakers traded him to the Miami Heat in 2004. His fourth championship ring followed in 2006 after winning another NBA championship.
During the mid-season of 2007-2008 NBA, the Heat traded him to the Phoenix Suns. After one season and a half with the Suns, they traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-2010 season. Finally, he played for the Boston Celtics during the 2010-2011 season before retiring.
National Team Career
People could have seen O’Neal playing for the national flag while still in college. He was considered to be part of the Dream Team, filling in the college spot. However, the spot eventually went to his future teammate Christian Laettner.
As good as he is at basketball, O’Neal eventually played for the USA team during the 1994 FIBA World Championship. The tournament named him the MVP. The coined Dream Team II bagged the gold, finishing with an 8-0 record.
Additionally, O’Neal was again part of the Dream Team III that won another gold for the USA team during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. His stint with the national team in 1996 was his last international competition.
Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth is also impacted by his work as an investor and businessman. Having studied business during college, he actively invested in bonds in the early 1990s. He continued to wade in stocks and invested in various companies, including PepsiCo, Apple, and General Electric.
Also, his investments did not stop with stocks and the mentioned companies. He looked to expand his business ventures. The NBA player ventured on real-estate development projects to assist homeowners in Orlando facing closure. He typically buys mortgages for those real estate fallen into foreclosure. O’Neal will eventually sell them back at more reasonable terms.
In 2019, he also joined the board of directors of Papa John’s and later invested in nine stores in Atlanta. And he even owns a Krispy Kreme in Atlanta (and is a global spokesperson for the brand). While he might have become a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, it was announced that he sold his share in January 2022.
Outside of Basketball
Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth will be based on various elements. This includes his earnings from endorsements, his stint as a basketball player, investments, and his involvement in the entertainment industry.
O’Neal was a guest rapper on “2 Bad” alongside Michael Jackson. He also contributed three tracks to the Kazaam soundtrack, including the song “We Genie.” He also made appearances in films like Blue Chips and Kazaam. In 2005, he also had an ESPN reality show called Shaquille. Furthermore, he hosted the ABC series Shaq’s Big Challenge.
O’Neal has been appearing in film and TV series since the mid 1990s. Since that time he has more than 70 projects he’s appeared on screen in along with 24 projects he’s produced.
In 1996, O’Neal starred in Kazaam. The movie tells the story of a troubled kid who accidentally releases a genie, who must grant him three wishes. Unfortunately, the film did not do well at the box office, only earning $18.9 million worldwide on its $20 million budget.
It’s reported that O’Neal made $7 million for his role as the genie in the film.
In 1997, O’Neal returned to the big screen yet again to play the lead in Steel. The film follows a military scientist who turns himself into a cartoon-like superhero. This title was an even bigger bomb at the box office, only making $1.7 million globally against its $16 million budget.
Scary Movie 4
2006 brought Scary Movie 4, which, as of 2022, is still O’Neal’s fourth-highest-grossing film at the box office. On a budget of $45 million, the film grossed $178 million worldwide.
Several of the biggest film contributions to Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth are animated projects, where O’Neal lends his voice to the movie. In 2014, he voiced the Smooth Smurf in Smurfs 2. With a budget of $105 million, the movie earned $348 million worldwide, making it O’Neal’s second-highest-grossing film of his career.
The Lego Movie
In 2014, O’Neal voiced Lego Shaq in The Lego Movie. And against a budget of $60 million, the film made $468 million worldwide, making it O’Neal’s highest grossing film to date.
Shaq’s Net Worth 2022
As of 2022, Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth is estimated at $400 million. During his stint as a professional basketball player, he earned approximately $292 million for his salary alone. An additional $200 million from endorsements covering the same period with him being in the NBA.
Despite retiring from basketball for many years now, he still earns around $60 million a year. When you look at Shaq’s net worth, it does not come from a single venture or business. His earnings generally came from appearances in various films, television, endorsements, and business ventures.
It’s just a matter of time before Shaq adds more to his resume and further increases his net worth. Probably, another investment in new niches or additional appearances on TV and reality shows. Either way, we can’t wait to see what the star does next!
Fans can most recently see Shaq in Netflix’s Hustle with Adam Sandler. He also has four additional projects in the works, including the animated TV series, Shaq’s Garage. Also listed in pre-production according to IMDB is the reality series Unqualified, which will star O’Neal and Ken Jeong as they perform various jobs.