Over the years, the former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star has also proven himself to be a savvy investor, with interests in Google, Apple and 24 Hour Fitness, as well as snapping up a range of fast food franchises.
But in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, O’Neal said he owed much of his financial success to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is the world’s richest man with an estimated $US163.1 billion net worth.
O’Neal said he “heard Jeff Bezos say one time (that) he makes his investments based on if it’s going to change people’s lives.”
“Once I started doing that strategy, I think I probably quadrupled what I’m worth.”
According to NBC Sports, O’Neal’s own net worth is believed to be around $US400 million.
During the interview, he said after he retired in 2011 he only invested his earnings in initiatives he truly believed in, sometimes turning down opportunities that seem like a sure thing if he didn’t personally love them.
“If something comes across my desk, and I don’t believe in it, I don’t even look at it,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
“Whenever I do business, it’s not about the money.”
O’Neal, who invested in Google early in 1999, said it was his best investment so far, but that he also enjoyed his Krispy Kreme doughnut involvement.
“I like doughnuts … Krispy Kreme is a fabulous doughnut. I was introduced to it in college and have been in love with it ever since,” O’Neal said.
He also spoke about his successful investing strategy last year, telling CNBC he never made decisions based on numbers alone.
“I never say, ‘If I invest in this, five years down the line, we could sell it for this.’ Every time I’ve had that model, it’s always been a failure,” he said.
SHAQ’S INCREDIBLE CAREER
O‘Neal was snapped up by the Orlando Magic in 1992 and soon made a name for himself.
Four years later, he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, before being traded to the Miami Heat in 2004.
From there, he went to the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers and finally the Boston Celtics.
He retired in 2011, bringing his glittering 19-year basketball career to an end.
But he’s never strayed far from the spotlight, having released four rap albums.
He’s also a music producer and DJ, and has appeared in a string of movies and even his own reality shows, Shaq’s Big Challenge and Shaq Vs.
He also hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq.