Despite 65 percent of NBA Players Going Broke within 5 Years of Retirement, Shaquille O’Neal’s Mother Helped Him Buy 175 Restaurants and Amass $450 Million Net Worth

Published 09/20/2022, 11:30 AM EDT

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The richest retired NBA player right now is Michael Jordan with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion. However, Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, who has a net worth of $450 million, has also made leaps of progress in the field of business and amassed a huge sum of money. But how did these two legendary figures manage to stay on the ‘rich list’ when most NBA players run out of their earnings soon after retirement?

Statistics show that about 60-65% of NBA players go broke within the first five years of retirement. An average NBA player earned approximately $8 million for the 2021-2022 season. Given that their career in the NBA is lasts for at least 4-5 years, their approximate earnings would be around $30 million – $40 million. Whereas, a pro athlete can play for approximately 10 years and can earn as high as $40 million or so, per season.


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READ MORE – After Almost Murdering a Boy, Shaquille O’Neal Was Given a Tour of the Jail at Age 13: “If This Kid Had Passed Away, This Is Where You Would Have Been”

Nevertheless, $40 million is a huge sum of money for the average American. So how do most players run out of money in a such short span of time? NBA veteran Shaquille O’Neal addressed the matter during an interview and revealed how he is still one of the top five richest NBA players.

Shaquille O’Neal opens up about the reason behind his success

Shaquille O’Neal currently owns 175 restaurants including Big Chicken, Five Guys Burgers and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Additionally he has 150 car washes, 40 fitness centers, a movie theater, a shopping mall and several night clubs in Vegas. Furthermore, he is an investor in several businesses such as Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme and Authentic Brand Group. During the interview, the host asked him why he wasn’t one of those 65% NBA players who end up broke.

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“Because if I do that, the big house that I bought my mother, she loses it. And I can’t have that,” said Shaq.


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So I had to learn about financial literacy. I had to take what I learned from basketball and apply the teamwork structure to my business,” he added.

Furthermore, Shaq informed that there were certain steps that he followed before signing a new business deal. He told that the proposal had to go through several people. The deal would only be finalized only if the people in his panels and his lawyers gave it a go.


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It is evident that the former Lakers center takes collective steps before investing in any business, which is a key to his success.


Written by:

Siyari Debbarma


One take at a time

Siyari Debbarma is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering from Abascus Institute of Engineering and Management. She previously interned at the Y-East Organization as a content writer.
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