Many professional athletes fall off the map once they retire from playing their sport of choice. After spending years in the limelight, many of these athletes enjoy the prospect of settling down and living a more normal life.
Shaquille O'Neal is not one of those athletes. O'Neal put together a legendary NBA career and cemented himself as one of the best big men to ever play the game. O'Neal was one of the game's most popular players and became a household name. And yet, even ten years after he last played in the NBA, Shaq is still as famous as ever.
O'Neal has done a little bit of everything since he retired. He's been an actor, a police officer, a DJ, a broadcaster, and a wrestler, to name a few things he has done in his post-playing career. Shaq is a part of the "Inside the NBA" crew on TNT and remains involved in the game of basketball, but he has managed to make a name for himself in many different industries.
O'Neal got his business chops by investing in Google during his career
Shaq is also a well-known businessman and has successfully franchised several different businesses in recent years. He reportedly owns over 40 gyms and 150 car washes while franchising several fast-food chains as well. He even opened his own restaurant called "Big Chicken," which has 10 locations across the country.
O'Neal made a lot of money throughout his career on NBA contracts alone, but he constantly had other sources of revenue, which has helped him pull off so many of the business moves we see him making nowadays. Shaq was smart with his money during his professional career and put some money away for investments. In fact, the first company Shaq decided to invest in was Google, which certainly turned out to be a wise investment.
"My first big investment? I wanna say it was Google. One day I'm sitting, playing at the Beverly Hills hotel, and I hear these two gentlemen talking about Google search engines and one day your phone's gonna be this and you type anything and it comes up and I was like 'uhhh…say that again'. And they were like 'oh hey how are you doing Shaq, come over here and listen to this'. And it was like boom boom boom boom, I would like to invest in this." Shaquille O'Neal
O'Neal's investments during his playing career helped him after his career ended
Many professional athletes face a problem when they retire; they need to find something else to do to make themselves money. Those multi-million dollar contracts are no longer coming through the door, and if you maintain similar spending habits without getting paid the same amount, you will run out of money quickly.
Shaq realized this throughout his career, and it has helped him be able to continue to pursue pretty much whatever ventures he wants to. Maybe you can say he got lucky by investing in a behemoth company like Google, but that's how the cards fall sometimes. It's also not like Shaq has ridden this one investment and done nothing else; everywhere you turn nowadays, you see Shaq.
Without that early initiative to invest in companies, maybe O'Neal isn't as prominent a figure as he is today. Shaq's spiel about his investing in Google shows how important it is for athletes not to get totally caught up in the sport they are playing because they will eventually have to retire. And once those checks stop coming in, you will have to find other ways to make money. That's what Shaq has managed to do better than arguably any professional athlete, and it all started with an investment in Google.