Imagine you're out to dinner. You ask for the check and the waiter says to you, "it's been paid already by Mr. O'Neal." Then you see Shaq towering over whatever booth or chair they've tried to sit him in.
According to the New York Post's gossip column, Page Six, O’Neal showed up at an upscale Chinese restaurant in Manhattan on June 12, 2022, on a date. After they were done eating, O'Neal paid for the entire restaurant staff to have a meal and paid for everyone's check who was dining at the restaurant. There were over 40 tables of people eating that night. The full checks came to “well over $25,000.”
It didn't stop there. O'Neal also apparently tipped every member of the serving staff very generously.
I've put a lot of effort into impressing a first date a few times, but never paid for the entire restaurant. This is not O'Neal's first time dealing with big purchases. The story O'Neal loves to tell is that he has the most expensive purchase in the history of Wal-Mart, which supposedly was around $70,000.
As a brand, O'Neal diversified his finances more uniquely than most. He owns a laundry list of restaurant chains, car washes, and fitness centers. His net worth is estimated to be around $400 million.
O'Neal is also unique as he will be remembered as much for his larger-than-life personality as his dominant NBA career. In his prime, there was nobody who could lock up O'Neal. If I were his date that night, I would have been impressed.