When Shaquille O’Neal was drafted into the league, he made a conscious effort to set his parents up for life.
During an interview on Drink Champs, Shaq revealed that “The Dummies’ Guide to Starting Your Own Business” book put him on game for how to handle his finances back in the day.
Therefore, when he was signed back in 1992, one of the very first things the former Orlando Magic center did was establish Shaq as a brand.
The other thing he did was put both of his parents on salary.
O’Neal offered to pay his stepfather, Phillip Harrison, a veteran, over eight times more than his salary in the Army. At the time, Harrison was earning $60,000 per year.
O’Neal also shared the wealth with his mother, to whom he offered to pay a salary of $750,000.
“So, [the] first thing I did was incorporate ‘Shaq’ and then I put my mom on salary and put my dad on salary. And you know, we had a fan club. I got ’em an office and got ’em a car and they were so proud. Cause the best day of my life was when I got drafted. My parents like, ‘Congratulations, love you.’ Cause you know my dad [is] hardcore. ‘See you later. Don’t lose your money.’ He wanted to stay on the Army base. ‘Like nah, come with me.’ [He replied], ‘Nope’ [I asked], ‘How much you make in the Army?’ [He said], ‘I only make $60,000.’ [I told him], ‘Now you making half a million a year.’ [He said], ‘What?’ He started crying.”
He then asked his mother, “‘Mom, how much you wanna make you make?’ [I told her] ‘You make $750,000 a year,’” Shaq explained.
The price tag did come with one requirement, however.
The requirement: “Also had to teach them the business,” O’Neal continued.
This should come as no surprise as Shaq sees the value in education as it can leverage how someone will manage their finances.