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‘Mom, How Much You Wanna Make?’: How Shaq Used His Wealth to Pay His Parents Nearly 7-Figures a Month to Come Work For Him

In a recent interview on “Drink Champs,” Shaquille O’Neal told Nore and company he used his Orlando Magic contract to create a brand and then employ his parents, offering his stepfather and mother close to seven-figure salaries.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 01: Shaquille O’Neal and his mother Lucille O’Neal are seen outside Good Morning America on August 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)

O’Neal, the No. 1 pick in the 1992 NBA draft, signed a four-year contract for $17.4 million.

Family Staffing

Shaq’s stepdad and military veteran, Phillip Harrison, was earning $60,000 per year with his role in the Army. Shaq gave him a job that was worth more than eight times more than that, with the NBA legend saying he gave him half a million a year.

His mother received a higher “salary,” making about $750,000 a year.

“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,” recalled Shaq.

He continued, “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.”

Shaq said he asked his father to come with him and work with him. After his father told him his salary with the Army, Shaq told him, “Now you making half a million a year.” He said his father “started crying.”

Shaq then “negotiated” a salary with his mother.

“‘Mom, how much you wanna make you make?'” he said he asked her, then announced to her, “You make $750,000 a year.”

Behind Shaq’s Net Worth

O’Neal’s net worth is around $400 million. During his 19-year NBA career, Shaq earned $292 million in salary alone. Add to this more than $200 million made from endorsements while he was a player. Today, Shaq, 50, still earns around $60 million per year from endorsements and various business ventures, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Among other business ventures, Shaq, who has a doctorate and an MBA, is the second-largest shareholder in brand management company Authentic Brands Group, which owns trademark rights to many celebrities, including Shaq himself, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Jackson.

The ex-baller also owns nine Papa John’s pizza franchises, and in 2019 the company hired Shaq for $4 million to rep the company. He is also on Papa John’s board of directors. The contract was renewed in 2022 for $5.6 million. Shaq also gets royalties on sales of Shaq-A-Roni speciality dish.

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