Shaquille O’Neal’s wildly successful NBA career has earned him plenty of money and recognition. Despite that fact, he feels it is important for his children to learn the value of money for themselves.
According to Fox Business, O’Neal appeared on a recent episode of a finance podcast called “Earn Your Leisure.” During the episode, he revealed a message he relays to his six children.
“My kids are older now,” O’Neal said. “They’re kinda upset with me — not really upset, but they don’t understand. Cuz I tell them all the time, ‘We ain’t rich. I’m rich.’”
Shaq to his kids: “We ain’t rich, I’m rich.”
Teaching them work ethic. 💪
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 27, 2021
This may sound harsh, but it is one of the best lessons a father could teach his children. In order to be successful in life, one has to learn how to earn a living for himself.
During his NBA career, O’Neal played on six different teams and won four NBA Championships. In 2000, he was named the league’s most valuable player.
According to Business Insider, O’Neal earned more than $10 million per season in the NBA from 1999-2009.
After his playing career was over, O’Neal earned millions more from his own business ventures. Those include launching his own shoe line and serving as the spokesman for The General Automobile Insurance, Fox Business reported.
O’Neal’s involvement in the business world does stop at endorsements or inventions. Money.com reported that he has invested in a number of businesses, including Five Guys, Auntie Anne’s, Krispy Kreme, Papa Johns, Ring doorbells and many more.
All in all, Fox Business said O’Neal is worth an estimated $400 million. He could probably hand out money to his children for the rest of his life and not go bankrupt.
However, O’Neal understands that giving his children financial handouts is only handcuffing them in the future. At some point, O’Neal will not be around anymore, and his children will have to rely on their own skills to provide for themselves.
If O’Neal gave money to his children haphazardly, they would eventually become desensitized to its value. This has happened to countless former athletes who eventually file for bankruptcy after being thrust into the real world.
O’Neal does not want this fate for his children, which is why he is imparting the value of money on them early in their lives. In particular, he said earning a degree is an important milestone for each of his children to achieve.
“You gotta have bachelor’s or master’s [degree], and then if you want me to invest in one of your companies, you’re going to have to present it, boom boom boom, bring it to me,” he said. “I’ll let you know. I’m not giving you nothing.”
O’Neal is not the first celebrity to discuss wealth and inheritance in recent months. Star actor Daniel Craig said in August that he does not believe in leaving a large inheritance, The Telegraph reported.
“I don’t want to leave great sums to the next generation,” he said. “I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is get rid of it or give it away before you go.”
It is not inherently wrong to provide for your children, especially when they are younger. But O’Neal is correct that as they grow older, it is important for them to learn the value of money themselves to ensure a successful future.