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24-Year-Old Shaquille O’Neal Splurged $350,000 On a Ferrari But Faced Ridicule From Lakers Stars Over a $9 Glitch

Nithin Joseph

24-Year-Old Shaquille O'Neal Splurged $350,000 On a Ferrari But Faced Ridicule From Lakers Stars Over a $9 Glitch

Shaquille O’Neal is a man who loves the finer things in life. As a young man, his fondness for “big boy” toys was notorious, especially when it came to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. However, Shaq is a big man and as such struggled to fit into most cars. So, he did the only thing he could do, – make modifications to his vehicles. But, as he revealed in his book Shaq Uncut, he once made a $350,000 modification to a Ferrari that later got him teased by his teammates because of a $9 glitch.

Big Diesel has always been business savvy. That being said, he never hesitated to splash the cash. Thus, leading to the $350,000 he was willing to spend on one modification. All so that he could fit in with a group he describes as the “little guys”.

Shaquille O’Neal once made a $350,000 modification that got him laughed at by his teammates

In 1996, Shaquille O’Neal joined the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a huge move for him, and to commemorate it, Shaq decided to splurge. So, he did what most people making $10,714,000 a year do – he bought a car. In particular, he bought a silver Ferrari, a model he was a huge fan of. However, there was one problem.

Being 7’1″ and weighing close to 325 pounds meant that The Big Aristotle struggled to fit into most vehicles. As such, he had to make some specific modifications in order to sit in the driver’s seat. And, as he revealed in his book, he paid $350,000 to get the motor, which is traditionally in the back, removed and moved to the front. He did this, just so he had the extra legroom.

It was a smart decision. But, unfortunately for him, despite getting all that legroom, it was impossible to put the same motor in the front. Thus, he was forced to replace the Ferrari motor with that of a lawn mower. Meaning, he could only put $9 worth of gas in the car at a time. Something his new Lakers teammates always reminded him about. Take a look at the tweet by Joe Pompliano below.

“Even though I was big, I just wanted all the things all the little guys in the world had. I just wanted to be like everyone else. Really. Why is that so hard? By the time the guy fixed that Ferrari up for me, the only gas tank he could fit in the car was one and I’m not kidding from a lawn mower. The most gas I could put in at one time was about nine dollars’ worth. The guys on the team never let me forget it.”

It definitely cost a 24-year-old Shaq a pretty penny. But, that didn’t stop him from continuing his love for fast cars. That was until a near-death experience in his Lamborghini Spyder.

Shaq swore off sports cars after he nearly died driving his Lamborghini

Shaquille O’Neal’s love for sports cars continued to endure despite his failed $350,000 modification. However, it all came to an end when he bought a Lamborghini Spyder. After modifying the car to suit his needs, Shaq was driving one day and saw a wet spot, he decided to go into a 360 and then rose it to a 720 until he saw a huge 18-wheeler coming his way, causing him to nearly crash.

After that incident, the four-time NBA Champion decided that sports cars were not for him and has since stayed away from any supercar.

It’s nice that Shaq just wanted to fit in with the regular people. But, if it costs an absurd amount of cash and nearly gets him killed, it certainly can’t be worth it.

About the author

Nithin Joseph

Nithin Joseph


Nithin is a content writer at The SportsRush. Like his favorite athlete Kobe Bryant, the company has helped Nithin elevate his writing skills to a whole new level, especially as an NBA content writer. With over 1500 articles to his name, Nithin's love for the sport knows no bounds. And, as he continues to watch the sport on a daily basis, he hopes his fascination with the NBA, especially the Miami Heat will inspire more and more readers to give the sport a chance. Perhaps, one day making basketball in India as big as it is in the United States.

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