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Shaquille O’Neal, Who Paid for 15 Friends’ Masters Degrees Only to Get a Physical Class, Was Left Embarrassed by Business Associates Not Respecting His Intelligence

Published 09/23/2022, 4:30 PM EDT

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NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal came to the league after dominating high school and college basketball. After three years in college, Shaq declared for the 1992 NBA draft. The Orlando Magic knew he would be a superstar and selected him as the first overall pick.

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O’Neal did not disappoint. In fact, he exceeded expectations in his first year in the league and everyone had to take notice. He won the Rookie of the Year award without much competition. Shaq’s parents were happy that he is living his dream.


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Despite this, they were not completely happy. Even before O’Neal joined LSU, they always wanted him to have a good education and asked him to finish college, no matter what. But O’Neal had his hands full. He was making sure he worked on all his passion as he tried his hands at music, acting, commercials, etc.

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However, he did not forget his parents’ wishes. So, to make them happy, the former MVP went back to college in 2000 and completed his degree. But the Big Diesel did not stop there. The Los Angeles Lakers legend is someone who always wanted to be in charge. But his business associates did not think he was in charge.

Shaquille O’Neal is always in charge

Shaquille O’Neal disclosed that his business associates would greet him during meetings and then they would turn away and look at his lawyers and accountants. Shaq felt like they did not think he had what it takes to understand the things they wanted to discuss. So he decided to do his master’s degree and did it from the University of Phoenix.


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O’Neal revealed another interesting detail about his master’s degree during the show. The University of Phoenix mostly provides online programs. But the former MVP wanted to attend a physical class. However, the University denied saying that it won’t be able to set up a class for just one student and that it would require a minimum number of 15 students.


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Shaq is not someone who would take no for an answer. And if he really wants something, he goes and gets it. O’Neal disclosed with a straight face that he paid for 15 of his friends to get their master’s degrees along with him. The crowd could not believe what they just heard and laughed it out. During the sit-down, he also revealed that he wanted to be a lawyer so that he could set up a law firm in Atlanta.


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The Big Aristotle went on to win four NBA titles in his career. His first three was a three-peat with the Lakers from 2000 to 2002. He won the Finals MVP award on all three occasions, displaying his dominance on both ends of the court.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran


One take at a time

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi