A lot of NBA players make millions, but not all of them manage to stay affluent, especially after their playing years. Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal isn’t one of those. In fact, “Diesel” made more money after retiring due to smart investments. And he certainly knows what to do with his riches.
A generous man
Some may not know, but Shaq is a big spender in everyday life. On the other hand, the impact of his generous gestures on people is also as big as the money he spends. And his former Lakers teammate Mark Madsen is living proof.
According to “Mad Dog,” O’Neal was one of the guys who took him under his wing during his first seasons with the Lakers, and it didn’t end on the basketball court. In fact, Madsen will never forget the day Shaq took him to the car dealership and bought him a new whip right there and then after seeing him drive an old Toyota van during games.
“We get to the car dealership, he walks up to the first guy and he said ‘take me straight to the manager’ and he says ‘Mr. Manager, this is Mad Dog and I’m gonna buy him a car today’… It was a blue Chevy Tahoe,” Madsen recalled on Fair Game in 2019.
Just when Madsen thought Shaq buying him a car would finish the shopping spree, O'Neal decided to buy every Laker a brand new Rollie.
“And then he took me Rolex shopping. And he bought a new Rolex for every single guy on the team,” he added.
Shaq made it a mission
Despite his ferocious physique and intimidating appearance, Shaq has always been one of the funniest guys in the sport. His sports comedy show “Shaqtin’ a Fool” speaks a lot about it. And for some of us wondering why the big fella is fond of giving back and helping the needy, the man himself admitted that he likes to make other people happy too. Hence he has made it a mission “to make people smile more.”
“I’m going to make people smile more. I’m going to take care of people I don’t know. Just make their day,” O’Neal said.
All told, what these stories tell us about Shaq is that inside that huge frame is a big heart that keeps on giving without expecting anything in return.