When he was a superstar on the LA Lakers, there were rumors that Shaquille O’Neal paid women hush money. The whispers began after Kobe Bryant alleged that O’Neal had paid up to $1 million in hush money to
various women. This was when Bryant was going through his cheating scandal.
Four-time NBA champion John Salley, who played with Bryant and O’Neal, told DJ Vlad of Vlad TV in 2019 that O’Neal never paid women hush money. In fact, Salley claimed that Shaq actually paid women to leave.
During his wide-ranging and fun conversation with DJ Vlad, John Salley shared the incredible story of Shaquille O’Neal giving his Lakers per diem money to a stripper.
The Lakers gave their players $930 in per diem money
According to John Salley, the Lakers gave their players $930 in per diem money. Even though Shaquille O’Neal was making $300,000 per game, the Lakers still gave The Big Aristotle his per diem.
Shaq made $17,142,858 during the 1999-00 season, the campaign he and Salley were teammates on the Lakers. The $930 LA gave to its players on the road wasn’t a big deal to O’Neal since he was making a lot of money.
The Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers in the 2000 Finals, capping off Shaq’s monumental season. He won the regular-season MVP Award and Finals MVP. O’Neal was one of the most recognized celebrities globally and received a lot of attention from women.
When John Salley was working on The Best Dam Sports Show, some woman bragged about how she hung out with Shaquille O’Neal and got shopping money from the MVP. Turns out, though, Shaq gave the girl–who was a stripper–his Lakers per diem money to go away.
Shaquille O’Neal gave a stripper $930
John Salley says Shaquille O’Neal gave his Lakers per diem money to a stripper. It sounds like Shaq didn’t care at all about the woman and just paid her to leave him alone.
“I’m playing for the Lakers, and they give us like per diem, $930 or whatever. They still gotta give Shaq one. Shaq has not cashed any of his NBA checks. So they’re gonna give Shaq a yellow envelope with $930. Guy makes $300,000 per game at this time,” Salley said. “So this girl was talking, I’m now doing Best Dam Sports Show, and I go, ‘Oh, you kicked it with Shaq.’ She said, ‘Yeah, I’ll tell you right now, boom, came up to me, here go $900, go shopping.’ And I go, ‘$930.’ He gave you per diem. He gave you Lakers per diem money. I think it was this stripper chick bragging about she got a G. No, you got $930. He cares nothing about it.”
Shaquille O’Neal clearly had no care in the world for his per diem money. According to John Salley, O’Neal didn’t give money to women to sleep with them. He gave them money to leave.
Shaquille O’Neal has made a lot of money
Through his NBA contracts alone, Shaquille O’Neal made over $286 million. The four-time champion has a reported net worth of more than $400 million, and it’s only going to grow moving forward.
Arguably the most dominant player in NBA history, O’Neal averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds during his playing career. Since retiring from the NBA, Shaq has worked for TNT, earned a master’s degree and Ph.D., and become a very successful businessman.
Money figures courtesy of Spotrac.