Shaquille O’Neal, heralded as one of the greatest players in NBA history, usually succeeds in everything that he does. He is a great businessman, a DJ, a platinum-selling rapper, a sports analyst and commentator, a real estate developer, and even a sheriff’s deputy. So, many were shocked when the former Laker ran into so much trouble selling his Florida mansion.
The four-time NBA champion and Basketball Hall of Famer went through five different agents and relisted the mansion five different times over three years before selling the property in 2021 for $11 million at a 60% discount from the original asking price. When he first put the 31,000-square-foot Isleworth mansion on the market, it had an asking price of $28 million.
Shaq still made a profit as the home was purchased in 1993 for $3.95 million.
Benjamin Hillman of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, who closed the sale, initially had confidence that he could sell the house.
“I was lucky No. 5. Shaq trusted me to find him a buyer, and I assured him I was the agent to do it,” Hillman said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
For some reason, living in a house where a famous athlete once lived wasn’t as attractive as his agents thought. And why? It’s seems the house’s style was a turnoff for many.
Over the Top
Many believe that the home was too personalized for the average multi-million buyer’s taste.
The house is huge — like its former owner.
The residence includes 12 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, and a grand foyer featuring dual mahogany staircases, tray ceilings, and marble floors. The 44-foot-long office and the primary suite with cheetah-print carpet offer scenic views of the water.
Shaq also customized the home with his Superman logo, which he adopted during his career. Potential buyers were able to see it in the car showroom, where he had it placed on the mirrored walls. There was more customization. In his living room, there is an extensive mural portraying him driving a semi truck.
Also featured on the property was a showroom for 17 cars, a cigar room, wine cellar, a custom theater, a secure room, a recording studio, an aquarium embellished with hieroglyphics, and a 95-foot swimming pool known as “Shaq-apulco.”
But of course, because he spent 19 years in the NBA and 12 All-Star games, one would expect that he would have an incredible basketball court. According to the listing, his was 6,000-square-foot Miami Heat theme.
At least Shaq was able to sell his home. His NBA elder Michael Jordan has had his Illinois mansion on the market for 12 years and has not sold it.
Like Shaq, experts say the extreme customization might be the reason that since 2012, when it hit the listings at $29 million, its asking price has been marked down to $14.9 million.
Bruce Bowers of Bowers Realty Group said to Business Insider that some people pause because of the expense associated with making it suitable for an everyday multi-millionaire Joe.
“It’s clearly his home,” Bowers said. “There’s a lot of work that would have to be done to make it your own.”