Skip to main content

Shaquille O’Neal is a very rich man. The Hall of Famer made nearly $300 million during his NBA career, and it’s possible he’s banked even more in retirement through various investments and endorsements.

With money like that lying around, O’Neal can afford to splurge on extravagant purchases he might not need. In one extreme example, Shaq once bought a house in the Los Angeles area without even looking inside first. He didn’t like the house that much, but he immediately agreed to buy it once he learned his celebrity crush, Paula Abdul, lived across the street.

Shaquille O’Neal’s $400 million net worth allows him to splurge whenever he wants

Shaquille O'Neal once bought a house he didn't like because his celebrity crush lived across the street.
Shaquille O’Neal laughs on the set of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” | Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

O’Neal is one of the best centers to ever play in the NBA. He made 15 All-Star appearances, won four NBA titles, and received three NBA Finals MVP awards during his illustrious career.

That career didn’t just give him a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, but it also gifted him historic on-court earnings. In 19 seasons in the NBA, Shaq earned a whopping $286,344 million in contract money alone, according to Spotrac. He’s the fifth-richest player in league history in terms of on-court earnings.

O’Neal hasn’t stopped raking in the cash in retirement, though. He owns several restaurant franchises, holds a minority stake in the Sacramento Kings, and still pulls in millions from his various endorsements. According to AfroTech, Shaq’s net worth has grown to $400 million in 2021.

So yeah, it’s safe to say O’Neal has a bit of spending money at his disposal.

Shaquille O’Neal bought a house he didn’t like because his celebrity crush lived across the street

O’Neal appeared on the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show earlier this month and played a game of “Shaq or Bullshaq” with Kimmel on the stage. The NBA legend spoke about a variety of rumors from his playing career and his life away from the basketball court. At one point, Kimmel asked O’Neal if it’s true that he once purchased a house he didn’t like just because famous pop star Paula Abdul lived across the street.

It’s true. Shaq went on to explain.

“I was here in LA, I was looking. I didn’t really like the house, and the guy was like, ‘Paula Abdul lives across the street,’ and I was like, ‘Who?’ ‘Paula Abdul.’ ‘I’ll take it!’ ‘Do you want to look inside?’ ‘No, I’ll take it.'”

Shaquille O’Neal

Shaq also said he went out of his way to interact with his celebrity neighbor.

“We have the same business manager. She’s a very nice lady,” he said. “Have I ever dated her or flirted with her? No. I moved right across the street, and I would look and every time she came outside I would accidentally, you know, come outside. ‘Oh hey, Paula! How are you?’

Well played, Shaq. Well played.

Abdul has a unique story about being neighbors with Shaq

O’Neal doesn’t live across the street from Abdul anymore, but the two have some hilarious memories from their time on the same street.

Abdul appeared on The Big Podcast last year and shared her favorite one.

“On New Year’s Eve, I wasn’t doing anything. He came to my house with a three-piece, pink pinstripe suit,” Abdul explained. “I was wearing my sweats and you picked me up and you planted me in your house, and I already knew what to expect so I ran and hid underneath your table. When the clock strikes midnight, he pulls down his pants and moons everyone.”

Abdul also said on the podcast that Shaq’s turtles would always escape and wander to her backyard.

Talk about the worst neighbor ever.