But the four-time NBA champion, who famously won three straight with Kobe Bryant on the LA Lakers, has also enjoyed success in the business sphere.
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In 2019, Shaq’s net worth was believed to be around $400 million and he had proven himself a savvy investor and a shrewd marketer.
He has long said that he only invests in businesses he truly believes in and uses himself.
But sometimes he can get to know a product too intimately — like IcyHot, the US version of Deep Heat.
“I used to see IcyHot in the locker room and one day I had a thigh bruise and the guy rubbed it, but he rubbed it too high,” Shaq recounted with late night comedian Conan O’Brien on his podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend.
“During the game, my little guys started getting hot. Like really hot, like I thought something was wrong.
“It got to the point where I was like, ‘hey man, I’ve got to go to the locker room, I need a doctor. My little guys are on fire’.
“He was like ‘oh, I think I put the IcyHot too high’. So then he said ‘you don’t have to play the rest of the game’.
“Then I take a shower and boy, did I think I was in hell. It gets worse and I’m in there screaming. There was this janitor in there and he said ‘compadre, you’ve got to use milk’.
“So I give him some money to go get a thing of milk. Now I’m in the shower pouring milk on my boys and the guys come in and are like ‘what are you doing?’ But the milk actually worked.
“Then when I started working with IcyHot, I was ‘it’s hot, this company actually works’.”
O’Brien was laughing hysterically and said: “That’s your testimonial for IcyHot? It set your testicles on fire?”
“I never felt pain like that in my life,” Shaq added.
But the conversation also came around to what Shaq is known for best — basketball.
While Shaq comes in at 216cm tall, O’Brien is big for a comedian at 193cm and asked if he could play in the NBA.
“You could play in this era, not my era,” Shaq said.
“What’s different about this era that I could play?” O’Brien asked before laughing as Shaq tore up tissue paper.
“This era is as soft as tissue paper,” he explained. “I said it, email it, tweet it out, I said it.”
Asked why the game was soft, Shaq said “I don’t know, it’s just different.”
“You want me to watch what we’re watching now and praise them like they’re great players. I can’t do it,” he added. “Steph Curry’s great, KD’s great, LeBron of course, Harden and all that but I just can’t do it, I don’t know.
“I’ve seen and looked in the eyes of Michael Jordan coming at you and Dominique Wilkins, as a kid I’ve seen Larry Bird and Kareem, I’ve seen the bad boys of Detroit and what they did to the Lakers and what they did to a young Michael Jordan.”
Shaq added that his dad was hard on him and didn’t let him get a big head.
It’s why he’s frustrated when modern players “get bent out of shape”.
This happened earlier this season when Shaq took aim at Utah’s Donovan Mitchell.
However he’s also been slammed for being out of touch with the modern NBA with Candace Parker explaining how defensive structures work nowadays.