- Shaquille O'Neal said his father's advice to make him stay in college helped change his career.
- O'Neal said he wanted to leave LSU after one year, but his father told him, "You been broke for 18 years, you can be broke for 19 years."
- O'Neal said he was not ready to make a lot of money, so he stayed in school.
- O'Neal said he still hit stumbling blocks with his money, but that he was better off for staying in school.
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Shaquille O'Neal's father gave him financial and educational advice through "one of the greatest quotes ever."
Speaking at Turner Sports' media availability from the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, O'Neal said if he had a do-over, he still wouldn't be a one-and-done college player. O'Neal stayed at LSU for three years, leaving in 1992 for the NBA Draft.
O'Neal said despite wanting to leave for the NBA after one year, his father convinced him otherwise.
"My father gave me one of the greatest quotes ever: 'So you been broke for 18 years, you can be broke for 19 years,'" O'Neal said on Thursday. "Because I wanted to come out my sophomore year. I said, 'Why?' I said, 'It's time for us to get some money.'
"He said, 'Nah, you been broke for 18 years, you can be broke for 19 years.' So, I would have to be mentally ready, physically ready, and I would have to know what I was getting into."
O'Neal said that even upon coming into the NBA, he had some trouble managing his money. He said he had to learn what FICA was, joking that he thought someone stole money from his check.
O'Neal had previously discussed his financial missteps when he was younger. He told Business Insider in 2017 that he once spent $1 million in one day by buying three Mercedes-Benz for himself, his mother, and father. Shaq then purchased expensive jewelry and gifts for friends. After deducting taxes and his agent's percentage, he realized he had spent all of his money from a recent paycheck.
O'Neal also told HBO's "Real Sports" that he owns the record for Walmart's biggest purchase when he essentially furnished his new home in one night at Walmart.
O'Neal said that getting extra education and financial advice was important for him and he would encourage other players to do so with the NBA's salaries rising.
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