Professional basketball player Shaquille O’Neal first rose to prominence in the early 1990s when he was drafted by the Orlando Magic NBA team. Over the course of his nearly two-decades-long career, O’Neal has won numerous accolades, including the MVP Award, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and more than a dozen All-Star Game selections. But awards are not the only thing that O’Neal has been collecting. The wealthy athlete has also amassed a significant portfolio of real estate holdings, and one of his properties was recently listed for sale.
O’Neal shot to prominence playing for the Orlando Magic
While attending Louisiana State University, O’Neal quit school to enter the NBA draft. In 1992, he was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the team’s first round of selections. “Named NBA Rookie of the Year in 1992–93, O’Neal led the Magic to a 41–41 record, 20 wins better than the previous season,” reports Britannica. “O’Neal’s great size and strength—he stood 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 metres) tall and weighed 315 pounds (143 kg)—made him virtually impossible to stop on the offensive end of the court.”
O’Neal played for Orlando until the mid-1990s when he changed teams for a record-setting sum. “In 1996, O’Neal signed the biggest contract in NBA history, seven years for $120 million with the Los Angeles Lakers,” explains Biography. “That same year, he helped the United States’ Dream Team win gold at the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.”
After playing for Los Angeles, O’Neal went on to play for the Miami Heat (2004-2008), the Phoenix Suns (2008-2009), the Cleveland Cavaliers (2009-2010) and the Boston Celtics (2010-2011). After 19 years of professional basketball, O’Neal retired in 2011. “The man with four rings, 28,596 career points and scores of nicknames, has finally decided to call it quits,” reported ESPN at the time, “ending one of the most colorful careers in NBA history that will surely culminate with a Hall of Fame induction.”
O’Neal has a significant net worth and considerable real estate holdings
O’Neal has leveraged his entrepreneurial acumen and celebrity stature into numerous business ventures. According to Wealthy Gorilla, the NBA star has a net worth of approximately $400 million, which makes him one of the world’s wealthiest athletes. Real estate represents one of the business ventures that have contributed to O’Neal’s net worth. The Wall Street Journal explains that O’Neal has started investing in commercial and housing development.
But one of the player’s most well-known real estate assets is his Florida mansion. “Sprawling over three acres in a gated community with nearly 700 feet of prime lake frontage, the private estate offers 12 bedrooms with an array of amenities,” reports People. The home offers more than 31,000 square feet of living space. And one of its amenities makes it very clear who lives in the home: Inside the mansion is a 6,000-square-foot basketball court named “Shaq Center.”
O’Neal has wanted to sell his Florida estate for years
According to a People magazine report, O’Neal put his home on the market in October 2020 for $19.5 million. This isn’t the first time O’Neal has tried to sell the estate. In fact, the asking price of $19.5 million is a lot less than the initial price the athlete wanted. “He previously listed the home for $22 million in December 2018, and for $28 million in March 2018,” notes the magazine.
At the start of 2021, Mansion Global reported that O’Neal’s estate had finally sold after three years’ worth of failed attempts. “The deal is not exactly a slam dunk for the 15-time NBA All-Star,” says the outlet. “The final sale price won’t be public until the home closes, but the megamansion was last asking $16.5 million, about 40% less than its original $28 million asking price.”