‘We ain’t rich. I’m rich.’ – NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has got tough love for his kids

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal and family

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players boasting about a wowing 400 million dollars net worth but the proud dad of six isn’t about spoiling his kids.

The former NBA star who believes in the core values of hard work and education recently spilled about values he tries to imbibe in them.

“They’re kind of upset with me, not really upset but they don’t understand,” the retired Hall of Fame basketball star said on the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast. “I tell them all the time, ‘We ain’t rich. I’m rich.’”

The four-time NBA champion explaining further said education comes first for him, that way he sees reason to invest in them:

“There’s one rule: education. I don’t care if you play basketball. I don’t care about none of that,” he said. “Listen, I got six kids. I would like a doctor, somebody to own a hedge fund, a pharmacist, a lawyer, someone that owns multiple businesses, someone to take over my business. But I tell them I’m not going to hand it to you. You gotta earn it.”

NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal and kids

“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, boom boom boom, bring it to me,” he said. “I’ll let you know, I’m not giving you nothing.”

“My motto is, ‘You have to get three degrees to touch some of my cheese,’” Shaq revealed earlier.
“You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have [an] education, you can’t make it grow,” the celebrity father said. “I didn’t want to be like 80 percent of the athletes who stop playing and have nothing. I don’t want to be part of that statistic. So I educated myself. I want that for my kids, too.”

O’Neal admitted some of his kids have got the entrepreneurial spirit but, he wants them to “figure it out” on their own.

O’Neal had a super successful NBA career winning four championships. In a post, recalling how he was able to build his life from nothing said:

“I came from nothing,” he said. “But, just because I made it doesn’t mean I’m bigger than you, smarter than you — just because I have more money doesn’t mean I’m better than you. I’ve never been that way and I never will be that way.”

The sports star who has multiple lucrative endorsements recently opened up on pulling out from a partnership with Reebok Footwear, which cost the legendary sports star a massive $40 million, deciding to partner with Wall-Mart instead to launch an affordable footwear line.

Recalling the moment he made that decision, O’Neal said he was confronted by a woman who scolded him for selling his signature Reebok shoes at a price that many of his younger fans could not afford.

“That day, I cut ties with Reebok,” he said of forgoing a $40 million deal he had with the brand following a moment of clarity. “I said keep the money… this ain’t right. I’ll still wear the shoes I do during the season, but I’ll be looking to do my own thing,” he said. “So, I started the Shaq brand. I went to my favorite store, Walmart, and we did a deal. I was in all stores and my price point for the shoes was $29-$19 and since then we sold over 400 million pairs.” He added that he brought on designers from Reebok to join him in the new Walmart venture. “It’s not kids that don’t want to wear $20 shoes, they don’t want to wear shoes that look like they cost $20.”

In a chat with the York Post, he said he was done with the celebrity life.

“These celebrities are going freaking crazy and I don’t want to be one. I denounce my celebrity-ness today. I’m done with it,” he told the New York Post.

“I don’t want to be in that category. Celebrities are crazy, they really are. Don’t call me that anymore. These people are out of their freaking mind with how they treat people, what they do, what they say. That’s never been me. I never want to be looked at like that.”

O’Neal added he didn’t want to be stereotyped as someone who is “out of their mind” but rather be known for his kindness away from the basketball court and television cameras.

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