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“It doesn't work like that” — Shaquille O'Neal on letting his kids know they aren't getting his money

Shaq expanded on his famous message to his kids - ”We ain't rich, I'm rich.”

We have to acknowledge this is a story about Shaq not pampering his kids with a cover photo of his sons wearing Balenciaga sweatshirts. That being said, O'Neal has consistently made sure to let his kids know inheriting his wealth is not a given. 

“It doesn't work like that.”

Parenting is a balancing act. You want to provide your kids with everything they need, but at the same time, make sure they are independent and don't take things for granted. Of course, Shaq treats his kids with a certain standard of living, but he made sure they understand what will it take to continue having such a lifestyle once they grow up.

It wouldn't be OK for me to use my personal success in such an irresponsible way. I want to teach my kids morals, ethics, determination, passion, and all other qualities a parent wants their kid to have. I can't give them the benefits that come from my "empire" and expect they'll have the same intensity and "hunger" I have. It doesn't work like that,” Shaq explained

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Shaq has a simple rule for his kids. If they want a part of his wealth, they can present him with a business plan. But, they don't get a meeting just because their last name is O'Neal. ”You gotta have bachelor’s or master’s [degrees] and then if you want me to invest in one of your companies, you’re going to have to present it.“

The O'Neal kids know not to count on an inheritance. If they earn it, so be it. But they are not guaranteed anything when it comes to their father's business empire. That's because, despite all the money he's earned, Shaq never forgot his humble beginnings. 

”That used to be me”

There are numerous stories of Shaq buying expensive stuff for total strangers. From picking up a tab for a blue-collar guy trying to figure out a way to get an engagement ring, to furnishing an entire house for a lady he met at a store.

“When I get out and see a family struggling, I remember those days - that used to be me. We needed help and every day I woke up and hoped someone would help us out. I wake up with the same mentality today, but this time, I'm in the position to give to others.”

This is how stars become leaders and legends, and why Shaq, Chuck, Kenny, and Ernie are the best show on TV. It's not just that they're entertaining and knowledgeable about the game. They all use their fame and status to help those less fortunate. 

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