Being one of the biggest NBA stars and a successful businessman makes Shaquille O’Neal a rich man. He has more than enough money to care for his family, but he tries to teach his kids the value of hard work by not giving them access to his wealth without earning it. All of his kids are still young, but early signs show he’s raised them well.
Shaq has a lot of money
Shaquille O’Neal has used his incredible size to rack up an amazing amount of money both on and off the court. Basketball has never seen a player like O’Neal before or since. He was a seven-foot, 300-pound giant with a remarkable combination of mobility and strength.
Being a one-of-a-kind athlete proved to be very lucrative for O’Neal. He made $292 million over the course of his 18-year career. But Shaq’s personality was so magnetic that he was always going to have opportunities off the court (being a Laker for seven years helped too).
He’s been so successful as a spokesperson and an investor that his net worth has actually increased since he retired. His total number of endorsements and deals is too long to list here, and he’s starred in some very bad movies, but the varied ways O’Neal has made money, excluding basketball, shows how seriously he takes his business.
O’Neal has a lot of kids
O’Neal’s finances have given him the foundation to take care of his children and encourage their dreams. He has three daughters (Taahirah, Amirah, and Me’arah) and two sons (Shareef and Shaqir).
Shareef and Amirah in particular have developed notoriety because they followed in their father’s footsteps. Amirah was an honorable mention for California’s All-State team and recently committed to play for LSU starting next year – whenever the coronavirus allows next year to happen.
Shareef was a promising UCLA signee in the 2018 recruiting class, but his career suffered due to a potentially fatal heart problem that required surgery. He got healthy enough to play again quickly, but once the school fired the coach who recruited him, Shareef played in less than half of the Bruins’ games. He transferred to LSU at the end of last season.
O’Neal won’t let his children live off his fortune without hard work
As rich as he is, O’Neal tries to keep his kids grounded by restricting access to his riches. He emphasizes the importance of education in their lives. Sometimes he uses tough love to get his point across, as shown in this anecdote from a story in People Magazine:
“I expect them to do their best. My son got a D on a paper one time, and he said he couldn’t find the information. ‘I went off,’ he says with a laugh. I said, ‘Let me tell you something, buddy. You’ve got Google. You got Bing. What do you mean you can’t find it? When I was your age, I had to go to a neighbor’s house and buy an encyclopedia.’
O’Neal went on to say he’d be a “valedictorian” if he was in school now. The NBA star elaborated to People, “You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have education, you can’t make it grow. I didn’t want to be like 80% of the athletes who stop playing and have nothing. I don’t want to be part of that statistic. So I educated myself. I want that for my kids, too.”
O’Neal also went on Good Morning America to further explain his parenting style with a catchy slogan:
Without knowing next to anything about how his kids feel about him when the camera isn’t on them, this seems like a wise way for a wealthy man to raise his children. If they know the value of hard work and earned success, then the chances of them becoming lazy grifters with bad habits will decrease. Hopefully, they’ll be better people thanks to this process.