The segment focuses on O’Neal’s business ventures since he retired from the NBA in 2010. And it’s working for the Big Fella. In the segment O’Neal said that his best year making money in the NBA came in around $30 million per year, and he’s now making more money “selling stuff and endorsing stuff and investing in stuff.”
In fact, O’Neal made his biggest salary during the 2004-05 season with the Heat, at $27.7 million for the year. Hardcore NBA fans will remember that Jerry Buss supposedly told Kobe Bryant that he wasn’t going to pay Shaq $30 million per year in 2004, forcing the trade to Miami.
Since his playing days, O’Neal has endorsed Carnival Cruise Lines, the company Heat owner Micky Arises serves as chair of. That was included in the Real Sports segment, as well as O’Neal’s shrewd decision to invest in the home security company Ring, which Amazon just purchased for more than $1 billion.
Shaq also discusses how his parents taught him valuable lessons — his dad telling him about the NBA players who go broke, his mom saying there are more middle-class people than “spoiled rich brats like you” — that have shaped his business decisions.
Another interesting tidbit from the segment? O’Neal hosts a “Shaq Summit” in Atlanta every year, where he strategizes with CEOs and sales representatives for all the products he owns. Even Charles Barkley says, “That’s pretty smart on his part.”