Shaquille O'Neal is one of the richest NBA players in the world. Having been retired for over 10 years now, Shaq has been able to amass a fortune over his long career. Most of his money comes from his endorsement deals, while the rest of it is from his nearly 20-year career playing in the NBA.
But O'Neal wasn't always this careful when it comes to money. In fact, he was very reckless with his money in the past. In a recent interview, Shaq revealed that he blew a lot of money when he first moved to Los Angeles. After 4 years in Orlando, Shaq didn't realize how different the taxation laws would be in California.
After signing a big contract with the Lakers, Shaq wanted to spend some money and indulge in some luxuries. O'Neal went a little overboard, spending $9 million of his $20 million per season deal. But when Shaq realized that he was going to be taxed at a little over 50%, that meant that he had effectively spent all his money in a day.
“So now when I first get to LA, listen 120 through 7 (years). What’s that, what I made what 20 (million) a year something like that. So I get to LA now, I gotta floss Gary. I’m going over and I’m looking at matches in the hills. How much is this for me? Cash. How much is that Rolls Royce? 300,000? We get three of them, another million. Just straight cash. You just spent your whole first-year salary. 'No! 20 million, I only spent about 10!'. So when I saw my cheque with 10.9 million and I had spent 9 million. Boy, was I upset with myself. I really was.”
Shaq has spoken in the past about his inexperience with money landing him in problems. In fact, O'Neal even spent his first paycheck on getting himself and his parents' multiple expensive cars. Clearly, O'Neal has learned his lesson since that time.
Shaq has put a lot of that money to good use, contributing to philanthropic causes as much as he can. On top of that, he has shown in the past that he cares about people with the way he handles both his money and his brands and the prices they charge. Clearly, Shaq understands the value of money.