Share this article

Millionaire Shaquille O’Neal Was Ready to Play for 0 Dollars An Entire Year If He Failed to Meet 1 Big Condition from Lakers

Published 05/01/2022, 10:30 AM EDT

Follow Us

Shaquille O’Neal was an automatic superstar as soon as the Orlando Magic drafted him as their first pick. Everybody knew the level Shaq was going to reach in his career. So it was natural for the team to provide him with a big contract. He earned his first million dollars as soon as he signed for the Orlando Magic.

America’s Favorite Video Today

The Lakers deal, 4 years after his debut was enormous. The Lakers were in transition at the time. They had just acquired the future of the franchise Kobe Bryant and they were aiming upwards. There were a lot of issues within the franchise that season.

The head coach and young Kobe also had a rift as he was not given consistent playing time in his rookie years. But Shaq was a positive influence on the team. The duo Shaq and Kobe created history.


Article continues below this ad

Shaq was an out-and-out team man and always thought in favor of what the team needed. Although he did reveal one thing that he asked for his selfish needs from Jerry West at the time in the Lakers.

WATCH THIS STORY: Shaq’s illustrious sports career.

He also promised something and claimed that if that didn’t happen he would play for free. Something only Shaq could.

Shaquille O’Neal reveals bizarre demand and the condition which would have meant him playing for free

On the recent episode, The Big Bacon on The Big Podcast with Shaq, O’Neal revealed an interesting conversation he had with Jerry West when he joined the Lakers. 

“I had all the stipulations in my contract. The only thing that great Jerry West let me do, that nobody else could do. I said, Jerry, I’ll agree to all this if you give me one thing — you gotta let me ride a motorcycle. And he did it. I actually asked him for motorcycle and scuba diving.”


Get instantly notified of the hottest NBA stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us


Article continues below this ad

“They took out scuba diving and allowed me to ride a motorcycle,” said Shaq. “Old school veterans like me when we see stuff like this, we get jealous. — For them numbers, I wouldn’t get you no problems. And I’d get you 35, 15, and I guarantee you two championships out of those five years. If not, the last year I’ll play for free.”

via Getty

The conversation was about the deal offered to Kyrie Irving which would mean he would earn $247 million over the course of 5 years. Shaq advised that he shouldn’t leave this deal and “take the bird in hand”.


Article continues below this ad

But he also gave his example where he guaranteed results for such an enormous deal when he was in Lakers. Now the deal for Shaq was not as big as this in terms of money but even at that time it was a huge money deal and Shaq delivered what he promised.

Providing feedback will help us make your experience better.

The Fan's Perspective

Enjoyed Your Read? Let us know how likely you are to recommend EssentiallySports to your friends!

Least Likely

Most Likely



Written by:

Chaitanya Sharma


One take at a time

Chaitanya is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He completed his engineering from SRM University. Having determined an interest in football and basketball, he was inclined towards having a job in the sports industry.
Show More>

Edited by:

Arunaditya Aima