Not His $400 Million Net Worth, But This $3000 Gesture for His Mother Makes Shaquille O’Neal Feel Rich: “She’s Not a Materialistic Woman”

Published 05/13/2022, 10:30 AM EDT

Shaquille O’Neal’s 19-year career with 6 different teams and four NBA championships contributed to making him one of the most accomplished and greatest basketball players of all time. The big man’s decorated career guaranteed that riches followed his trail, making him one of the highest-paid athletes to date. 

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However, Shaq believes that his wealth is not defined by the amount of money he possesses. Everyone defines and views wealth differently, and Shaq is no exception. In an episode of his famous podcast, “The Big Podcast with Shaq”, the NBA legend was asked a question about any investments that he messed up. Upon discussing his situation of screwing up a deal with Starbucks that went to Magic Johnson, Shaq sent out a beautiful message.

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“Try not to count other people’s money. Try to be happy, and it ain’t about money. I told you all before, me being rich is my mama calling me up at 9, she’s not a materialistic woman…Baby, I need $3000 for a new TV…and you go buy 3 of those TVs that she wants. That’s my definition of being rich. Seeing a woman, who had never probably even seen $50,000 her whole lifetime, to be able to get her whatever she wants.” Shaq said.

“100 million, 200, 300,400, 500…it’s all the same but being able to do that for your mom, for your kids, for people you care about, that’s rich.”

Shaquille O’Neal was a towering juggernaut on the court, that no one wanted to mess with. His size and strength on the floor culminated in one of the most dominating careers in NBA history. Shaq may be a powerhouse on the court, but he was a mama’s boy off it.

Shaquille O’Neal and his mother’s cute ritual before every game

Lucille O’Neal, Shaq’s mother, once appeared on ‘Today’ and spoke about her Hall-of-Fame son.

She also spoke of a touching ritual she had with Shaq before games as she backed her colossal son throughout his illustrious 19-year career. Lucille said that she would give Shaq a good luck kiss and a piece of chewing gum before each ballgame as a gesture of good luck. 

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“I’ll give him a wink and a smile, and he was playing his game. But by the time he got to the NBA, we had a ritual. I would give him bubblegum, and then I would kiss him, and I say play your game. As a grown man.” Lucille said.

This son and mother’s endearing ritual definitely makes one smile and displays a mother’s unwavering love and support for a child. 

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Watch this story- Michael Jordans NASCAR Team 23XI Racing vs LeBron James Soccer Team Liverpool: Which is Richer?

Even more than a decade after his farewell NBA game, Shaquille O’Neal remains an inspiration to individuals around the globe, which may be his most remarkable triumph yet. Without a question, his mother deserves a lot of credit for molding him into the great man he is today.

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Ritvik Malhotra

30 articles

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.

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