Shaquille O’Neal, born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, is a legendary American basketball player. Although retired from playing, O’Neal serves as a sports analyst on the basketball programme Inside the NBA. He is considered a legend because of his extraordinary skills in the game and is regarded as one of the best players to play for the coveted ‘center’ position.
Standing at a height of 7 feet 1 inch, he is easily one of the tallest basketball players. He has an illustrious career of 19 years during which he was awarded as the NBA Champion four times, NBA Finals MVP three times, and NBA All-Star fifteen times among many other awards and recognitions. His career was set to be successful from the get-go when he was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1993 when he debuted, proving that he has always been skilled in the game.
Born to parents Joe Toney and Lucille O’Neal in Newark, New Jersey in the US, he never saw his birth-parents being together. Not long after his birth, his father Joe was imprisoned for illegal drug possession. Even after his release from prison, he never reconciled with his baby mama and son, and he gave up his parental rights.
His mother then found love in an army man named Philip A. Harrison and the couple married when Shaquille was two years old. Philip looked after Shaquille and loved him as his real son, the reason which didn’t let Shaquille feel the need to contact his biological father.
Following Phillip’s death in 2013, his resentment toward Joe softened and the father and son met for the first time in their lives in 2016. Shaquille said that he did not feel any resentment towards his father, and said “I don’t hate you. I had a good life. I had Phil.”
Both his parents were quite tall, with his father Joe being 6 feet 1 inch tall and came from a basketball background, and his mother was 6 feet 2 inches tall. Hence, being tall was in his genes. Shaquille lived his life moving around Newark, Germany, and Texas owing to his stepfather’s job being in the army.
When the family returned to Texas, Shaquille aged 16, started playing basketball and led his team to a record victory for over two years, which eventually helped his team win the state championship.Following his high-school graduation, Shaquille enrolled in Louisiana State University to study business.
This is where he met the coach of Tigers, Dale Brown. He then played under Dale in college, then ultimately left studies to pursue his basketball career. However, after becoming a professional player, he then resumed his studies, because he has made a promise to his mother that he would complete his studies. He also stated that completing his studies gives him the assurance that if someday he has to give up the game and live a normal life like others, then this would be his support for a 9 to 5 job.
Shaquille was married to Shaunie Nelson from 2002 to 2009 which went through a rocky phase. The couple has four children together, among which the eldest son Shareef O’Neal followed his father’s footsteps to basketball. In September 2007 the couple filed for divorce but later reconciled with each other and withdrew their appeal for the divorce from the authorities.
However, later in 2009, this ugly situation appeared again but unfortunately, like the first time, the results were not favourable. The couple separated from each other and cited “irreconcilable differences” with no chance of uniting in the future. Shaquille also has a son named Myles from a previous relationship, and a daughter named Tahirrah O’Neal, from another past relationship.
Following his separation from his ex-wife, he dated Nicole Alexander, a reality TV personality from 2010 to 2012 when the couple split up. Currently, he is dating a model named Laticia Rolle from Massachusetts since 2014.
Shaquille purchased land in Orlando, Florida IN 1993 to build his dream home. The house he built consisted of a massive area of 35,000 square feet with an indoor basketball court of 6,000 square feet in size. The mansion also houses 17 car garages and has privacy walls erected of 10 feet in length on all sides. It is located in a gated community inside the Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
He put his dream house for sale in May of 2018 and listed it with the price of $28 million. In January of 2019, he lowered the price to $22 million, and further reduced the price to $19.5 million in September of 2020. The house was finally sold at a price of $16.5 million.
He also has properties in Atlanta worth $1.15 million, and another in a Los Angeles suburb named Bell Canyon worth $1.8 million which he eventually sold for $2.5 million.
Shaquille O’Neal Net Worth
Shaquille O’Neal has a net worth of a whopping $400 million. During his time in the NBA, he earned $292 million and earned over $200 million from advertisements and endorsements. Now that he is retired, his earning per year ranges from $60 million.
Shaquille O’Neal Salary
Shaquille has earned $292 million during his time in the NBA and an additional $200 million from advertisement deals. Currently, he was to join the Board of Directors of the pizza chain Papa Johns, which would pay him $8.2 million as salary with additional stocks in the company. He also invested $840,000 to purchase 30% shares of a franchise of Papa Johns in Atlanta.
Shaquille O’Neal is indeed one of the few basketball players with extraordinary talent in the game, whose contributions have inspired future generations. His life story and his subsequent entry into the game is inspirational one. His technique and style cannot be matched by others and is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.