Shaquille O’neil, best known to his fans simply as Shaq; is a retired NBA basketball player. At 46, O’neil’s net worth soars at $400 million as of 2019 though he is now a retired sports analyst.
During his 19-year stint as a professional NBA player, he plied his trade in six different teams and is currently rated as one of the best NBA players in US history. Further to being in retirement, Shaq also stars in a number of movies and TV shows besides pelting popular rap songs. He has in recent times released four albums to his name.
Shaquille O’Neil was born and brought up in Newark (New Jersey) on 6th March, 1972. At his infancy stage, Shaq biological dad was struggling with drug addiction. Unfortunately, the father was jailed for being in possession of illicit drugs. Following his arrest and subsequent imprisonment, O’neil’s father had to surrender his parental rights to his step father. Permanent separation at such an early stage meant that Shaq did not have father-to-child relationship at all.
As O’Neil grew up into a youth, he often found himself in the company of boys and girls in a nearby Sports Club in Newark. Many a times, Shaq didn’t play in any of the teams but could seize the opportunity to shoot impressive hoops. O’neils step dad who was a soldier was relocated to bases in Germany and thereafter to Texas.
While in high school, O’neil did showcase his basket ball prowess with such a stunning feat. At one time, Shaq catapulted his team to a whopping 68-1 record for two consecutive years culminating in a State Championship at the time when he was in his senior year. After exiting high school, O’Neil joined Louisiana State University where he was readily enrolled in the university team. O’Neil earned several accolades among them two time SEC Player and All-American player of the year.
It was not until 1992 when O’Neil was incorporated by Orlando Magic as choice number one in the NBA draft. Prior to shifting to Orlando Shaq had the privilege of being mentored by Magic Johnson-one of the greatest NBA legends. O’neil was quick to make history during his first week at the NBA. He became the first to be named Player of the Week. Shaq teamed up with Johnson until 1995 prior to becoming a free agent during the season that followed.
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In 1996, O’neil was co-opted in the team that represented the US in the Olympics where they earned a gold medal. Following his sterling performance at the Olympics, O’neil was contracted by LA Lakers for a seven-year period. O’neal continued sharpening his skills and leading the Lakers into various championships.
Shaq’s career path was not without pitfalls. He encountered frequent injuries one of which was quite devastating. On one of his toes, he developed a debilitating form of regenerative arthritis. He underwent surgery in the year 2002 after which he was locked out of 12 games of 2002/03 season. This resulted in Lakers failing to reach the finals of 2003 further to sliding to fifth-seed position.
O’Neil wound up his career by playing alternately with different teams in different seasons. He played for Miami Heat from 2004 to 2008 where scored more and more career highs notwithstanding additional injuries. At the end of 2008, Shaq switched to Phoenix Suns; playing with them for one season. In 2009/10 season O’neil joined Cleveland Cavaliers and shifting thereafter in 2010-2011to play for Boston Celtics prior to his grand retirement.
O’neil’s Career Top Highlights
Crowned NBA Champion in the year 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006
Led his team to NBA finals MVP in the year 2000, 2001 and 2002
Declared NBA All-Star player for a record 15 times
In 1993 he was named NBA’s All-Rookie 1st Team
Gold Medalist following his team’s win in the 1996 Olympics.
Shaq revealed during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” that his fast investment was purely accidental and went on to make him a tidy sum. He said of his investment on Google pre-IPO:
“I’m actually babysitting the guy’s kids while he’s in a meeting,” O’Neal says. “So after the meeting, he says, ‘You know what? You’re good with kids, I like you, I’m going to bring you in on this investment.’ And it was called Google. He said, ‘You know, in the future, you’re going to be able to type on your phone, search engine this, do this, boom, boom, boom, you should invest.’
“I invested, and then a couple years later, I got a really big return,” he adds.
He has also invested in:
Apple, 24 Hour Fitness, Five Guys and nightclubs in Las Vegas.
Shaquille O’neil has since been a household name having shattered various records while setting new standards in sports. His $400 Million net worth is as a result of his ability to multi-task successfully between sports, film and music; all of which propelled him to grow from one level to the next.