Shaquille O’Neal is a savvy investor and businessman, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the former NBA star says that he was bad with money for a long time. What changed was when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 and received financial advice from Magic Johnson.
Shaq spoke with “Shark Tank” star Daymond John for a Black Entrepreneurs Day event. He shared his financial journey.
Shaq was so bad with money at first that when he made $1 million from a trading card endorsement deal, he blew it in one day. He spent it on three Mercedes cars for him and his family, some jewelry, and an extravagant trip to Las Vegas.
Shaq spent so much that he was called in by the president of the bank, who advised him to slow down on his spending. That’s when Shaq learned about taxes and the difference between gross and net incomes.
The Big Fella says he didn’t have things under control until he was in his mid-20s and with the Lakers.
“When I first got to L.A., [Johnson] said ’Shaq, it’s okay to be famous and all that but at some point, you want to start owning things,’” O’Neal said.
O’Neal decided he wanted to own a clothing line. From there, he began learning a lot more.
Shaq works as a broadcaster for TNT and has multiple product endorsement deals. He makes more now than he did as a player.
He owns multiple restaurant franchise stores, franchise gyms, several car washes, and he’s on the board for Papa John’s. That’s not at all bad from a guy with an SAT score like Shaq’s.