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Shaquille O’Neal, owing to his dominance on the NBA hardwood, carved out a legendary career for himself. Crushing opponents and putting a masterclass of strength blended with skill is what the big man did nightly. He was a bona fide winner and loaded his career with countless accolades and honors.

Shaq, though, has continued to make huge strides off the court even after capping off a legendary NBA career. He has built a massive empire owing to the business endeavors that have made him amass a fortune. It’s incredible to see how much the NBA icon has accomplished despite having to stop doing what he loved the most. And it is his fear of one thing that has kept him going even at this stage.

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In an interview with Grant Cardone, Shaq was asked what made him step into the business world. “Fear,” the Los Angeles Lakers legend said right off the bat. He then went on to note how most athletes go broke post-retirement, which was something he didn’t want.

“60 to 70 percent of the athletes, five years after they are done, have nothing, zero income”, Shaq said. “Not a dollar, not 20 dollars, not minimum wage, they have nothing coming in. So for me to go from 40 million to a 100 million signing bonus to 120 million to another 80 and now to have nothing, we can’t do that,” he added.

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He went on to remark that his loved ones need him and that is what has kept him going.

“My mother needs me, my brother and sister need me, my children need me, people need me,” Shaq remarked.

READ MORE: 500K People Couldn’t Convince Lakers Legend Shaquille O’Neal, But $50 Million Did the Trick: “I’m Tapping into Some of That”

It’s amazing to see how much Shaq has accomplished outside the realms of hoops. As Shaq noted, while most sportsmen go penniless after leaving the sporting world, he has continued the hustle.

Shaquille O’Neal has found great success in the business world

After setting his hooping powers to rest, Shaquille O’Neal didn’t stop. He did, in fact, complete his education and earn a master’s degree in business. And, considering his success in that sector, he has put his degree to great use.

The dominance he exhibited on the court is something that he has replicated in the franchise world. Since retiring in 2011, he has invested in and owns several restaurant franchises between Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme, and Auntie Anne’s.

Shaq even owned 155 Five Guys restaurants but has since sold his stake. Moreover, the big man is also said to have owned 40 24-Hour Fitness gyms and 150 car washes.

He also understands the opposite side of the coin, since he is the franchisor of the food brand, Big Chicken. His food chain has achieved enormous success, with multiple locations spread across the United States.

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Shaq, however, is not the kind of person to shoot arrows in the dark. In fact, before investing, he conducts extensive research and only invests if he genuinely likes the brand.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Did Michael Jordan Play in 1994? Was Shaquille ONeal the Last Player to Beat MJ in the NBA Playoffs?

A 2009 study by Sports Illustrated said that a startling 60% of former athletes go broke within five years of leaving the sport. Nonetheless, the NBA legend continues to add to his portfolio.