Former NBA great and Hall of Fame power center Shaquille O’Neal says he’s not simply going to hand over his vast fortune to his kids — that if they want a piece of the pie, they’re going to have to earn their way, same as he did.
“Shaq” noted during an appearance this week on the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast that his six kids aren’t going to have everything bestowed upon them on the back of their rich and famous father.
“My kids are older now. They kinda upset with me. Not really upset, but they don’t understand,” said O’Neal, who is worth an estimated $400 million. “I tell them all the time. ‘We’ ain’t rich. I’m rich.”
Now that his playing days are well behind, him, O’Neal divides his time up between on-air NBA analyst duties at TNT and an estimated 50 different endorsement deals with brands including The General, Reebok, Gold Bond, and Pepsi. He also has a number of food ventures including namesake Shaquille’s as well as Big Chicken and Papa Johns.
In the podcast interview O’Neal, a four-time NBA champ, talked about the standards his kids must meet in order to share the wealth.
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“You gotta have bachelor’s or master’s [degrees] and then if you want me to invest in one of your companies, you’re going to have to present it, boom boom boom, bring it to me,” he said. “I’ll let you know, I’m not giving you nothing.”
The NBA legend went on to say that indeed, he does see some entrepreneurial spirit in his kids, but that he still wants them to “figure it out” by themselves.
“There’s one rule: education. I don’t care if you play basketball. I don’t care about none of that,” he told the podcast.
“Listen, I got six kids. I would like a doctor, somebody to own a hedge fund, a pharmacist, a lawyer, someone that owns multiple businesses, someone to take over my business. But I tell them I’m not going to hand it to you. You gotta earn it,” he went on.
Last month, O’Neal essentially ‘retired‘ his celebrity status, saying they are “out of their freaking minds” and that he does not want to be thought of in that way.
“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” he told the New York Post.
“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that,” he added.
Later, he discussed being brought up in poverty in Newark, N.J.
“I came from nothing,” he said, praising the Boys & Girls Club of America for keeping him out of trouble.
“But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you,” O’Neal said. “I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way. So I don’t want to be in that category of people.
“When they talk about Shaq, what do you say? ‘He’s a nice guy.’ Because what else can you be? You’re either nice or you’re the A-word, and I definitely won’t be looked at as the A-word,” he said.
“I want people to say, ‘Bro, he’s nice. He didn’t have an entourage. His people didn’t take my phone because I took a picture and threw it,’” the 7’1″ former power center noted.
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