Not that most folks would know firsthand, but it seems quite likely that at least a few children of super-wealthy parents may not believe they’ll need to lift a finger come adulthood with so much available cash hanging around.
Well, count Hall of Fame basketball icon Shaquille O’Neal’s children out of that number.
What did he say?
Because O’Neal indicated during a taping of the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast that his progeny aren’t about to get any handouts from Dad.
“My kids are older now, and they’re kinda upset with me,” Shaq offered. “They’re not really upset, but they don’t understand. ‘Cause I tell them all the time: We ain’t rich. I’m rich.”
Indeed, O’Neal never backed down under the basket — and he’s no softie with his six children, who are between the ages of 15 and 25, MarketWatch reported, when it comes to requiring them to make their own way in the world.
“No,” he continued, as if he was speaking to his kids, insisting they need to land a 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; I’ll let you know. I’m not giving you nothing.”
So how much money does Shaq have, anyway?
O’Neal, 49, made $286 million during his NBA career, the outlet added, noting that the former center and current TNT commentator has made a pretty good living since then through endorsement and equity deals with Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, The General, Pepsi, and Reebok.
What’s more, ClutchPoints estimates that Shaq’s 2021 worth is about $400 million.
More from MarketWatch:
O’Neal is the latest wealthy celebrity to voice a stance against gifting their children money.
When referencing leaving large sums of money to their children when he dies, actor Daniel Craig said recently, “My philosophy is to get rid of it or give it away before you go,” adding that it would be “distasteful” to leave millions to your heirs.
Business billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have expressed similar views over the years, as have CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and musical artist Sting.
How are folks reacting?
Some observers gave Shaq high praise for his no-nonsense approach to handing out cash to his children — but a number of others criticized him on Twitter:
- “I will never understand this mentality. I made it for my children. I don’t want them to be slacking in their efforts, but I will not put a burden on them to struggle in life,” one commenter said. “Build business and let them be in charge to maintain them and grow. Remember! U will be old AF soon.”
- “This is why white people will always be ahead,” another commenter declared.
- “You are correct,” another user said, answering the previous commenter. “Whites believe in passing along OLD MONEY to keep their kids and grandkids in the same life style…I plan to do the same …Unfortunately, SOME affluent blacks believe in ‘I got mine, now you go get your own.'”
- “That’s the problem with black families,” another user added. “This is also a percentage of the reason why the generation wealth gap is as large as it is between white and black. Stereotypically, when black parents and grandparents toil through all the hardships and unfairness that they had to go through, they typically feel that their children have to jump through the same or similar hurdles and hoops for the kids to be worthy of any wealth whatsoever. Versus their white counterparts who have parents who literally hand their kids their share of the family’s capital…”