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Trailing Michael Jordan By $2.5 Billion, Shaquille O’Neal Points Out His Financial Supremacy on IG Story

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Trailing Michael Jordan By $2.5 Billion, Shaquille O'Neal Points Out His Financial Supremacy On IG Story

Apart from being one of the most dominating NBA players, Shaquille O’Neal is a marketing behemoth with a business acumen rivaling some of the smartest sportsmen ever. The four-time NBA champion is among the richest NBA stars ever and some estimates claim he might have even earned over a billion dollars in his lifetime. He shared a post on his Instagram stories that claimed he trailed only Michael Jordan and LeBron James on the list of the highest-paid basketball players ever.

According to the list, Jordan leads the way with $3.75 billion, while James is second with $1.7 billion. O’Neal has reportedly earned $1.21 billion in his lifetime, which ranks him third ahead of Kobe Bryant.

The numbers are taken from a list on Sportico which compiled the highest-paid athletes of all time, adjusted to today’s inflation rate, which saw O’Neal’s $805 million career earnings balloon to $1.21 billion.

Mandatory Credit: Michael Zamora/Des Moines Register-USA TODAY NETWORK

Per Sportico, Magic Johnson is seventh highest-paid athlete with $645 million in lifetime earnings. However, in October 2023, Forbes magazine listed the Lakers icon as one of four professional athletes with a net worth of over $1 billion alongside Jordan, James, and golf legend Tiger Woods.

Its legitimacy is questionable, as, per Sportico’s non-adjusted estimation, the three-time Finals MVP hasn’t earned over a billion dollars in his lifetime. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not among the richest NBA players ever. Further, Shaq ranks so high up in the rankings because of what he has created for himself after he hung it up for good.

Shaquille O’Neal built his massive fortune

Per reports, Shaquille O’Neal is reportedly worth $400 million among the top five richest basketball players ever. The four-time NBA champion earned over $286 million in his career and used it to amass more wealth with several investments after retiring. He invested heavily in food chains like Five Guys, Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme, and Auntie Anne’s, owning over 200 restaurants.

He also owns stocks in blue-chip companies like Apple and Google, and other successful businesses like Ring and Vitaminwater. Shaq even has his food chain called ‘Big Chicken’, which he founded in 2018 in Las Vegas.

By 2023, the restaurant had expanded to over 18 locations across America. The big fella is a marketing genius, who doesn’t hesitate to promote his fast-food brand, whenever he gets an opportunity.

O’Neal is also putting his wealth to good use. In 2019, the four-time NBA champion launched the ‘Shaquille O’Neal Foundation’ to help underprivileged boys and girls in America fulfill their goals by providing them with resources and opportunities they are deprived of. He may have been a bully on the court, but off it, he has a heart of gold.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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