Shaquille O’Neal dominated the league through much of his illustrious NBA career, helping him make nearly $300 million in contract earnings. However, it’s been his decision-making with his money that has shined a greater light on him. All that has led O’Neal to dish out crucial financial advice to NBA players to avoid serious money problems.
Shaquille O’Neal’s earns $286 million over 19-year NBA career
O’Neal spent nearly two decades in the NBA, where he established himself as an all-time great.
His stellar play earned him the opportunity to cash in on massive contracts throughout his 19 seasons, making roughly $286.3 million. It ranks as the seventh-highest total in NBA history as he made around $166.5 million in his eight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The rest of his earnings sit split between his stints with the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics. Beyond O’Neal’s incredible success on the court, it’s been his decision-making with his money and endorsement deals that have set him apart from the rest of his colleagues.
All that led him to offer keen financial advice to NBA players.
Shaquille O’Neal dishes out crucial financial advice to help NBA players avoid money problems: ‘Think about what has to happen in the future’
O’Neal cashed in with nearly $300 million in career earnings, but it’s been the decision-making that’s put him in a financially luxurious spot.
Many professional athletes hold the tremendous benefit of making millions of dollars through contracts and endorsement deals. However, it’s become common to see many players end their careers with a small fraction of that due to poor money management and bad spending habits.
Despite those frightening financial pitholes, O’Neal has increased his profit line well past his retirement. During an interview with Business Insider, the Hall of Fame big man dished out crucial financial advice to NBA players.
“I would simplify it for them,” O’Neal said. “I would do what one of my friends did to me. I would take a $100 bill and rip it in half. And I’d say “$50, don’t even look at it. Don’t look at it.
“Now, this other $50 you can play with. Do whatever you want. But if you’re smart, you’ll rip this $50 up and you save that. And now this $25, do whatever you want. You want a house, 10,000 square feet? Do it. You want cars? Do it, but keep it right here.”
O’Neal’s game plan centers on saving 75% of the money earned to garner stability. At the same time, he acknowledged that every situation is different but believes professional athletes get in trouble by thinking about the potential money in the next contract.
“The NBA does a great job of, you know, preparing people and warning people,” O’Neal said. “But you know, sometimes you just get so much money and you forget — like if you’ve got a five-year deal worth $100 million, you’re making $20 million, you spend like, $20 million in the first year, you’ll be like “You know what? I’ve got another $20 million coming.
“That’s how guys are thinking. I always tell them “Don’t think about what’s going on now. Think about what has to happen in the future.”
It may be common sense advice, but O’Neal is speaking from a place of experience, and his words should carry tremendous weight and serve as a guiding point for all professional athletes.
Holds blueprint for business success
It’s been that type of mindset that helped O’Neal become a highly successful businessman.
His bubbly personality, combined with his keen decision-making, has earned him numerous endorsement deals and investment opportunities. Following the entire disastrous situation with Papa John’s in 2018, he latched on as a part-owner of the company.
O’Neals hammered out endorsement deals with high-profile companies such as IcyHot, Buick, The General Auto Insurance, Macy’s, Zales, Arizona Beverage Co, Epson Printers, and Carnival Cruise. It’s an endless list of endorsement opportunities that continues to grow.
More than anything else, it’s become blatantly obvious he holds the formula for financial success that every professional athlete should aspire to reach.