Shaquille O’Neal, who announced his retirement yesterday after a stellar 19 years in the NBA, earned almost $300-million in salary over his career.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, the Big Aristotle pocketed $292,198,327 from his rookie season in 1992 through the 2010-11 season.
However, this figure does not include money he has raked in from commercial endorsements, movie and TV roles and even from sales of his rap records (Remember “Shaq Diesel”?)
It also doesn't take into account the millions he had ro shell out to his ex-wife Shaunie after their divorce settlement.
Still, Shaq could probably “get by” from money he earned on the hardwood.
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According to Basketball-referemce.com, Shaq made $3-million as a rookie for the Orlando Magic during the 1992-1993 season. His salary rose steadily every year until reaching $5.7-million in his fourth and final year at the Magic Kingdom in 1995-1996.
Then, Shaq really struck it rich.
After signing a seven-year , $121-million free-agent contract with Los Angeles Lakers, Shaq reached the stratosphere of superstar salaries.
The $10.7-million he earned in 1996-1997 had almost doubled to $19.3-million just five years later (when the Lakers won the first of three straight titles).
From 2001 through 2009, O’Neal amassed at least $20-million in salary every single season (for four different clubs) – making him one of the wealthiest athletes not only in the NBA but also the world.
His peak salary was the $27.7-million he received from the Miami Heat during the 2004-2005 season.
In Shaq’s swan song season with the Boston Celtics, he earned a more pedestrian $1.3-million.