Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most spendthrift athletes in the world. He isn't shy about spending any sum of money as long as he finds it worthwhile. The Diesel has a long list of impulse purchases that will make your jaw drop, from mansions and cars to restaurants and hotels.
O'Neal played for 19 seasons in the NBA, most notably for the Orlando Magic, LA Lakers and Miami Heat. He won one league MVP, three Finals MVPs, four championships, two scoring titles and 15 All-Star selections. He is considered the dominant player in NBA history, and we are yet to see a force like Shaq in the paint.
He has always been one of the most popular figures in sports, and even after his retirement, he has consistently been in the public eye. O'Neal is currently a studio analyst for TNT, a DJ, a business owner, an investor, an author and much more. Naturally, his countless endorsement deals and multiple ventures allow him to spend millions on whatever he wants.
What are some of Shaquille O'Neal's most impulsive and expensive purchases?
While many athletes splurge millions on their lifestyle, Shaquille is one of the most impulsive spenders. He once gave a waitress a $4,000 tip because she got him food quickly and has also bragged about tipping close to $300 for valet parking.
O'Neal has spontaneously purchased many businesses over the years, and his empire reportedly includes several Papa John's outlets, 17 Auntie Anne's locations, 155 Five Guys Burger locations, a shopping center, multiple restaurants, a movie theater, numerous nightclubs, around 40 24 Hour Fitness gyms and over 150 car washes.
Additionally, he is the second-largest individual shareholder in Authentic Brands Group, and as a result, he has shares in global brands like Forever 21, Barneys, JCPenney, Reebok and more.
Let's take a look at some of the most impulsive, rare and expensive purchases made by Shaquille O'Neal.
Note: This list is not ranked.
#1 $70,000 purchase at Walmart
Shaquille O'Neal once made a gargantuan purchase at Walmart, and it's reportedly the largest sale in Walmart history.
He spent $70,000 in one go at the Walmart in Phoenix after he got traded from the Heat to the Suns in 2008. He arrived at his empty house and spontaneously decide to fill the place with everything, from appliances to clothes. In fact, when he went to pay the bill, the credit card company declined the transaction because they thought O'Neal's card was stolen.
He spoke about the incident on "The Late Late Show with James Corden." When asked if the story was true, Diesel acknowledged it was:
"I get traded from Miami to Phoenix, and I'm a type of guy (that) I have no patience. So, when I get to Phoenix, they have an apartment for me, nothing's in it. So, 2-3 in the morning, I gotta go get four or five TVs, I gotta get printers, I gotta go get laptops, gotta go get appliances, sheets, towels, underwear, T-shirts.
"So, at the end, it was $70,000, so I put my credit card in and it got declined. So, I pull it out, blow on it and wipe it on my T-shirt. And so, I put it back in. It got declined again. So, now I'm saying, 'I know I'm not broke.' So, I said, 'Alright, I'll be back.'
"And the American Express security called me, (saying) 'Hey, man, somebody stole your credit card and they spent $70,000 on Walmart." I said, 'No, that was me.' … So they turned it back on. True story."
#2 Luxury Superyacht
Shaquille O'Neal bought a luxury superyacht in 2018 reportedly worth $10 million. He uses it for vacations in the Bahamas, and the boat has been spotted on numerous beaches over the years, from Florida to Mexico.
The Pershing 72 Superyacht boasts three luxurious rooms, a master suite, a large dining area with a piano, a fully-decked spa and sauna, a pool on the sun deck, a stocked bar and much more.
#3 Mansions in Orlando and Los Angeles
Shaquille O'Neal played for the Orlando Magic for the first four years of his career and preferred staying in Florida even after his retirement. He owned the 36,000-square foot lakefront mansion for decades, and he recently sold it for a discount at $11 million. He bought the property for $16.5 million originally.
The mansion included a 95-foot-long pool, 12 bedrooms, a 17-car garage, a movie theater and much more. Even for a man of his size, Shaq admitted that the property was impractically too large. Additionally, he bought a mansion in LA for $2.5 million along with several other properties.
As mentioned above, Shaquille O'Neal is known for impulsive purchases, and he once bought a house in Los Angeles just because he would be Paula Abdul's neighbor. He talked about it on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" When asked if the story was true, he said:
"So true. Like, I was here in LA, and I was looking, didn't really like the house and the guy's like, 'Paula Abdul lives across the street.' (I said) 'I'll take it.'"
#4 3 Rolls-Royces
Shaquille O'Neal has a car collection that can rival any other athlete's collection, with over 20 cars and bikes. He has purchased some incredibly expensive vehicles over the years, but a few wheels stand out. He reportedly engraved a "Superman" logo on his cars and has custom-modified several of the models.
The four-time NBA champion was once offended by a Rolls-Royce dealership manager who asked O'Neal if he could afford the cars. In a fit of rage, he purchased three cars in one go, just to prove to the manager that he could. He reportedly doesn't even drive or use the $450,000 vehicles. Additionally, he even gifted one Rolls-Royce Phantom to former teammate LeBron James.
Speaking of spontaneous purchases, he reportedly bought a Mercedes-Benz within an hour of signing his first NBA contract in 1992.
#5 Custom treehouse
Shaquille O'Neal appeared on the show "Treehouse Masters" on Animal Planet in 2018 and asked the creators to build him a "man-cave" treehouse where he could invite his friends to hang out.
The LA Lakers legend reportedly spent $400,000 on the treehouse which is custom-made for his liking. The house contains a nine-foot door, a poker table, a fully-stocked bar, a fire pit and more.