Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most legendary basketball players in NBA history, playing 19 seasons in the NBA for several different teams. With a height of over 7 feet and a weight of over 300 pounds, O’Neal was a dominating force on the court, establishing himself as the most dominant center of his era.
Although O’Neal is best known for his incredible accomplishments during his NBA career, he has gained widespread fame and recognition for his post-NBA career as well.
Cohost of TNT’s Inside the NBA
O’Neal is currently best known for his role as a cohost of TNT’s award-winning basketball show, Inside the NBA, starring alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley since 2011. Inside the NBA provides entertaining pregame, halftime, and postgame analysis of regular season and postseason NBA basketball games.
O’Neal and Barkley routinely argue, make fun of, and tease each other during shows, producing many viral moments that continue to increase the show’s popularity. While basketball is the main topic of conversation on the show, other topics surrounding politics, pop culture, entertainment, and the news are sometimes discussed as well.
Although Inside the NBA was a very successful show before O’Neal became an analyst, he provide a necessary Type A personality counterbalance to Barkley that greatly enhanced the show.
Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith both remain laid-back contributors to the program, providing sound analysis and occasional humor, while O’Neal and Barkley are usually the sources of contention, disagreeing on many topics of conversation.
O’Neal also routinely makes fun of Barkley for never winning an NBA championship while Barkley counters that O’Neal only won his 4 titles because he was carried by Kobe Bryant and Dwayne Wade.
Film and Television
Shaquille O’Neal appeared in several movies and television shows during his basketball career and continued to pursue acting roles after he retired from the NBA. His most famous movie role involved playing a college basketball prospect in Blue Chips, while his most successful television appearances include brief stints on the Bernie Mac Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
He also made a voice-over appearance on The Simpsons where he portrayed himself. He is currently co-producing a television show called Shaq’s Garage, a children’s animated series revolving around a collection of O’Neal’s cars, trucks, and other kinds of vehicles.
O’Neal has starred in many television commercials and other forms of advertising for several different products and services. Some of his most famous spots include endorsing Icy Hot, Papa John’s, Carnival Cruise Line, Pepsi, The General auto insurance, Frosted Flakes, and American Express to name a few.
Most recently, he has appeared in television commercials advertising Ring security systems, Forto coffee shots, and the Epson receipt scanner. Because of his highly recognizable brand, larger-than-life media personality, and positive demeanor, O’Neal will continue to be the face of many marketing enterprises by businesses of all types.
Businessman and Entrepreneur
While Shaquille O’Neal made incredible amounts of money during his playing days in the NBA, his savvy business acumen has enabled him to increase his great wealth, amassing a net worth of about $400,000,000.
He currently owns 155 Five Guys franchises, 17 Auntie Ann’s pretzel stands, and a Krispy Kreme donut franchise. He also started a food chain restaurant known as Big Chicken, which specializes in producing a wide variety of chicken entrees in a laid-back, casual dining experience.
He has also invested in Vitamin Water and Google, both of which have provided a significant boost to his wealth. Finally, he has made huge financial contributions to the fitness industry, owning 40 24-hour fitness centers.
O’Neal’s most enduring contributions after his basketball career have been his generous philanthropic work covering a wide avenue of issues. The Shaquille O’Neal Foundation specifically assists disadvantaged youth in reaching their full potential by heavily investing in several different projects and programs to benefit them.
Whether providing school supplies or toys at Christmas or building different educational and athletic facilities for struggling school systems, The Shaquille O’Neal foundation has had a major impact across the country.
O’Neal is also famous for performing random acts of kindness and generosity for those in need including buying an engagement ring for one fan and buying a laptop for another. He also has donated to several other charitable organizations including the United Negro College Fund, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Baltimore Hunger Project.