Nationwide — NBA superstar turned sports commentator, Shaquille O’Neal, recently admited to CNN that he didn’t start off managing money too well. After signing his first professional contract in at the age of just 20 years old, he admits: “The first thing I wanted to do was relieve my parents of their jobs. I (spent) a million dollars in about 45 minutes, but it was well worth it.”
Shaq reflects, “My momma [was] happy, her house [was] paid for; she had the car that she knows she would never get in her dreams, a Mercedes-Benz. My father [had] one, I had one. I was good.” He adds, “But now you have to educate yourself on how to maintain that, and a lot of people don’t do that.”
23 years later, Shaq, who is now retired from the NBA, remains in good financial condition, but unfortunately of his fellow NBA players struggle in this area. Although the NBA average salary is $4.7 million, many players still find themselves going through bankruptcy and other financial issues.
Shaq says, “Advice number one: learn what annuities are.” He says secondly, manage your money the old-fashioned way and put 75% of it in the bank for retirement. “Do whatever you want [with the other 25%],” he says.
“But it’s hard,” he admits. “Guys got families, girlfriends, stuff like that. But, a guy taught me that in 1995 and it worked, it worked for me.”