Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal once made a wish to make $6.2 million a year before his ascent to NBA stardom

Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, the dominant force of the NBA during his playing days, mesmerized fans with his board-breaking dunks and juggernaut-like gameplay. His on-court presence was nothing short of manic, striking fear into the hearts of opponents. However, before his meteoric rise to success, Shaq harbored a humble wish– to earn a hefty amount in a year.

Little did he know then that this seemingly ambitious dream would pale in comparison to the colossal fortune he would amass throughout his iconic career. From his humble beginnings to becoming a household name, Shaq’s journey is one of determination, hard work, and above all, an unyielding desire to leave a lasting legacy in the world of basketball. And he continues to do so.

Shaq’s unforgettable $6.2 million aspiration from teenage years

Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is no stranger to making bold statements, but his claim to earn $6.2 million a year before his NBA career took off remains an iconic moment in his journey.

From the very beginning, Shaquille O’Neal’s larger-than-life personality shone through. Even in his first interview as an 18-year-old student at Cole High School, he exuded confidence and charm. It was here that he boldly pronounced his intention to earn $6.2 million annually as he casually said, “I want to make $6.2 million a year.” Such audacity and self-belief were unheard of, especially from a young athlete at the time.

Little did everyone know that Shaq’s prediction would become a reality and so much more. As he ascended to stardom, he surpassed that 6.2 million mark in just a single year. But his greatness didn’t stop there. During the same year, he experienced a remarkable growth spurt, towering from 6’7″ to 7’0″ in height. It was as if his dominance on the court wasn’t enough, and nature itself conspired to amplify his greatness.

Not only did Shaquille O’Neal epitomize success individually but also as a team player. His high school team achieved an outstanding 68-1 record over two years and secured a state championship, further solidifying his reputation.

Watching that first interview certainly reflected Shaq’s consistent, unwavering demeanor throughout the years, and sure enough, he kept his promise, or rather, long-jumped everyone’s expectations.  

Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth in 2023

Shaquille O’Neal’s net worth in 2023 is estimated to be around $400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Known for being more than just a dominant basketball player, Shaq has always been one of the most marketable and charismatic figures in the history of the NBA.

Shaquille O'Neal
Via TheSportsRush

Throughout his career, he has been involved in various entrepreneurial ventures and endorsement deals, contributing to his massive net worth. During his playing days in the NBA, Shaq earned a staggering $286 million in salary earnings alone. He began his career with the Orlando Magic, where he quickly established himself as one of the most dominant big men in the league.

He then joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996 on a groundbreaking seven-year, $120 million contract. Shaq’s time with the Lakers proved to be highly successful, leading the team to multiple championships.

Aside from his NBA earnings, Shaq is also a prominent figure in the media world. He currently works as a TV analyst for TNT and reportedly earns $10 million per year for his role. His contract includes a weekly appearance on the show, with the option to terminate it before its completion.

With his impressive net worth and ongoing success in various ventures, Shaquille O’Neal continues to solidify his position as not just a basketball legend but also a highly influential and affluent figure in the world of sports and entertainment. And sure enough, as much as he loves earning, there is no denying that Shaq loves spending as well.

Sami Haider

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Sami Haider is an NBA writer at SportsKnot. His foray into basketball scriptwriting started in 2020, when he was enthralled by the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship victory. His previous experience was limited to dribbling and dunking as a neighborhood kid. His insightful writings show how much he loves the sport. His writing goes beyond numbers and scores, giving readers a unique viewpoint on the players, teams, and events that define the basketball scene. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a casual observer, Sami's work is essential for anybody trying to expand their knowledge and love of the NBA.


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