Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous and easily recognizable basketball players in the world.
Despite finding massive success in the National Basketball Association, Shaq was able to find a way to make even more money than when he was playing professional basketball.
O’Neal has a lengthy list of talents, including being a smart and savvy investor.
What Is Shaq’s Net Worth?
Shaquille O’Neal has a net worth of $400 million with a yearly salary of $60 million through his multiple endorsements.
Shaq earned $292 million in salary from the National Basketball Association and an additional $200 million from endorsements during his professional career.
Early in his basketball career, Shaq also began a short-lived rapping career.
Although he wasn’t rapping for long, he was able to make friends with some of the biggest rappers in the game, including Method Man, Jay-Z, and Notorious B.I.G.
Nowadays, Shaq spends his time researching whichever company or industry he is going to invest in next.
He most commonly invests in fast food thanks to the reliable returns that they make.
Shaq owns 17 Auntie Anne’s, nine Papa John’s, a Krispy Kreme, and 155 Five Guys locations.
Despite the size of his fast-food empire, he is still looking to add more locations.
He even has the goal of owning 100 Krispy Kremes.
With how well he has been able to manage his 155 Five Guys, this dream of his becomes vastly more believable.
Another industry that Shaq has invested in is the world of competitive gaming, also known as e-sports.
His kids got him hooked on the idea of expanding the industry after going to a championship game.
Shaq The Basketball Superstar
Shaq began playing for the Orlando Magic in 1992, where he was chosen for his massive size and aggressive playing style.
The team knew that they could count on O’Neal to shock and even spook the enemy team.
In his first year with the team, he managed to earn $3,000,000.
The following season he was given a $900,000 raise, which continued for each year that he played for Orlando.
The Orlando Magic team claimed to adhere to strong family values, but it wasn’t true.
When O’Neal’s grandmother passed away, he was late to practice because his family was in mourning.
He arrived for practice soon after, but he was torn up by the management team, calling him juvenile and unreliable.
O’Neal felt it was time to move onto another team.
In 1996, Shaq made the switch from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he stayed the longest.
O’Neal was paid $10,714,000 for his first year on the team and saw an impressive pay raise each year he played.
By his final year with the Lakers, Shaq was paid $24,749,999.
Shaq spent eight years with the Lakers before switching over to the Miami Heat.
His first year with Miami earned him more money than ever before, a whopping $27,696,430.
In each of the nest two years with the Miami Heat, Shaq was paid about $20,000,000.
From 2007 to 2009, Shaq played for the Phoenix Suns, making $20,000,000 the first year and $21,000,000 the second year.
After his time with the Suns, Shaq made the switch to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a single year and made $20,000,000.
His final professional year was spent with the Boston Celtics, where he only made $1,352,181.
His Short-Lived Rapping Career
In 1993, Shaq began to write rap music during his free time and released his first album that same year.
The first album released by Shaq was Shaq Diesel, and it sold more than one million copies, turning Shaq’s first album into an instant hit.
Shaq’s rapping on the album isn’t bad, even if it is a tad sillier than most other rap albums.
The novelty of owning a Shaquille O’Neal rap album is what pulled in many of the sales, along with the comically cheesy music videos.
For his second album, Shaq Fu: Da Return, released in 1994, Shaq invited a slew of his favorite rappers of the time.
Guests on his album include Method Man, Redman, and RZA.
In 2005, he was asked to rap for Michael Jackson’s song 2 Bad on the album HIStory.
The following year, Shaq released You Can’t Stop the Reign, which featured Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G.
While preparing to work with Notorious B.I.G., O’Neal was incredibly nervous to work with the living legend.
However, the pair ended up getting along so well that they became friends and Notorious B.I.G. worked with Shaq even more on his album.
When Notorious B.I.G. was shot down at a party in Los Angeles, Shaq was awoken by his mother with the news of what had happened to his friend.
O’Neal felt an incredible amount of guilt because he was supposed to go to the party and ended up falling asleep instead.
Shaq says that he chooses to focus on the good times with his friend instead of the regret he felt.
He’s glad that they got to know each other and create music together.
Shaq’s last album was called Respect and it was released in 1998.
Shaq In Film
Unlike Shaq’s music, it took time for the type of movies and his acting to improve.
Even when his acting was at its worst, his movies were still entertaining because of how comically cartoonish his early acting was.
The first movie that Shaq was in was Blue Chips in 1994.
O’Neal played an unmotivated basketball player named Neon.
The movie has an all-star cast that includes Nick Nolte, Mary McDonnell, Ed O’Neill, and Alfre Woodard.
Only two years later, Shaq got his next role as the magical genie Kazaam in the movie of the same name.
Although the special effects are jarring and the movie isn’t great, it becomes a comedy thanks to the idea of Shaquille O’Neal being a genie controlled by a child and the ridiculous outfit that he wears the entire movie.
Those who have wondered what it would be like to see Shaq as a superhero will have to wonder no longer after watching Steel from 1997.
Like Kazaam, Steel isn’t the best movie, but it’s made better by having Shaq in an outlandish costume and situation for the basketball star to be in.
O’Neal appeared as himself in Nickelodeon’s Good Burger.
The movie has become a cult classic, and the inclusion of O’Neal makes it even better.
The following year, Shaq took a small role in Carrot Top’s movie Chairman of the Board.
He played one of the security guards in the movie.
In 2001, Shaquille O’Neal played Norman in The Wash.
This movie featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Chong, Ludacris, Anthony Albano, and even Eminem.
Three years later, Shaq played himself in the action-comedy movie After the Sunset, which also stars Woody Harrelson and Don Cheadle.
Shaq In The Fast Food Business
One of O’Neal’s biggest financial moves has been his investments in fast food.
So far, Shaq’s fast food empire is worth about $127 million and consists of hundreds of restaurants.
Shaq owns 17 Auntie Anne’s, with eight of his locations being located in Buffalo, New York, and nine of his locations being located somewhere in Michigan.
At maximum, it costs about $385,100 to open a single Auntie Anne’s.
With 17 locations, Shaq could have easily spent $6,546,700 on all of his Auntie Anne’s.
How much Shaq makes from these locations is unknown, because he claims that his mother doesn’t like interviews where dollar amounts are being thrown around.
While Shaq may own 17 pretzel joints, he owns 155 Five Guys Burgers.
These locations can be found all over the United States, especially in college towns.
The highest starting price for starting a Five Guys Burgers is $716,250, which means that Shaq spent well over $100 million on Five Guys restaurants alone.
Shaq is a massive fan of Krispy Kreme and with their variety of fresh donuts, nobody can blame him for wanting to own 100 Krispy Kreme locations.
He currently only owns one Krispy Kreme in Atlanta.
This store has cost him $2,750,000 due to being located in the heart of the city, but that hasn’t stopped him from wanting to open up even more donut shops.
Shaq has also bought nine Papa John’s locations, become the brand ambassador, and even joined the Board of Directors for the company in 2019.
At maximum, these quick-service pizzerias cost $844,420 per location to open.
This means that Shaq could have spent up to $7,599,780 on pizzerias alone.
With his franchise empire, he makes more money now than when he played basketball professionally.
Going From Physical Sports To eSports
Shaq was introduced to the insanely profitable world of esports in 2016 when his kids asked him if he could take them and join them for a League of Legends world championship.
The former athlete was amazed by the reaction of the crowd, watching them getting even more excited than watching from the sides of a basketball court.
At first, Shaq was confused about what was going on and had to ask his kids for clarification.
After explaining what e-sports was to their father, the O’Neal kids had gotten their father excited about the event.
Seeing the passion that fans and the players had, O’Neal knew that he wanted in on this business.
Like any wise businessman, Shaq knew that he needed to do his research before jumping blindly into a new industry.
What Shaq found most surprising about e-sports competitors is how short their career is.
Oftentimes, the players will get burnt out after three or four years and end up changing to a new game or completely stepping away from competitive gaming.
While some parents may be upset with the rise in gaming as a hobby, Shaq prefers how much safer it is to play e-sports than it is to do the things that he was doing when he was young.
To get into the industry, Shaq decided to team up with NRG Esports to help create an environment that promotes longevity among its players and creates an even better experience for fans.
At this time NRG holds competitions for games such as Rocket League and Call of Duty.
As part of his plan for expanding e-sports, he is bringing in as many sponsors as possible to endorse the players and contribute money to improving the competitive events.
Increasing the amount of pay for players will help them stay longer.
The Shaq-Fu Series
Although Shaq’s gaming knowledge may not be up to date, he is no stranger to the gaming world.
In 1994, Electronic Arts, best known for being the creators of The Sims and numerous professional sports games, released the two-dimensional fighting game called Shaq Fu.
There were versions of the game made for Sega Genesis, Super NES, Game Boy, Game Gear, and the Amiga.
The name of the game came from Shaq’s album of the same name, with the game having the same humorous nature.
While the game seems like it would be a success, the game ended up being a poorly coded reskin of Mortal Kombat.
Rather than go for a traditional, cartoony design for the character, the game used photos that had been heavily pixelated.
This gave the animation an eerily, unnatural twitch to all of the characters’ movements, with Shaq being the most jarring of the bunch.
However, this wasn’t the end of the gaming series.
In 2014, there was a crowdfunded sequel that was in the works of being created and released for the current gaming systems of the time, which included the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC gaming.
It took four years for the game to be completed after the fundraising was complete.
Due to the parody-like nature of the game, many different licensing issues kept the game developers from being able to release the game.
Many of the characters are parodies of celebrities, so the developers had to rework characters to ensure that they wouldn’t get sued for using a celebrity’s likeness.
There were also references to the many products that once were endorsed by O’Neal.
Shaq Fu 2 is a beat-‘em-up video game, meaning that you’re taking on multiple enemies at once, but are able to move around the screen freely.
Shaq In The Drink Industry
It wasn’t enough for Shaquille O’Neal to have the fast food industry on lockdown, but he also wanted his taste at having his own drink.
While other rappers tried to sell their fans energy drinks, Shaq was teaming up with Arizona Tea to create Shaq Sodas.
The sodas were all-natural cream sodas that came in different flavors, such as Original Vanilla, Orange Cream, Strawberry Cream, and Blueberry Cream.
These sodas have real vanilla from Madagascar and use cane sugar to sweeten them.
Arizona teas are known for coming in a tall can and for being reasonably priced no matter where you go.
They used their access to larger cans as part of the marketing slogan, which was “a big can for the big man”.
Each of the flavors of Shaq sodas had a different design and Shaq made a different face on each.
Many of his fans have a can or two in their collection thanks to their sleek yet silly designs.
Later, Arizona released another line of Shaq-inspired drinks, but these drinks were to celebrate the arrival of the Shaq Fu sequel.
Shaq Fu Punch comes in three different flavors, including grape, strawberry, and pineapple.
Like the game, consumers weren’t buying what these new drinks brought.
Many consumers complained about them tasting like medicine or simply not worth even the low price of $1.49, with many reviewers recommending that you buy a stick of gum or another Arizona tea instead.
Although very few people like the taste of the Shaq-inspired sodas or the juices, most fans are still willing to buy one for the novelty.
Instead, they make excellent collector’s pieces for Shaq’s biggest fans and look excellent on a shelf.