Shaquille O'Neal Speaks On NBA Salaries In Today's Age: 'These Bums Are Making $600M For Two Years. I Wish I Was Playing Now'

Shaquille O'Neal knew his worth then, and he still does today.
In a sit-down interview with Patrick Bet-David, the 15-time All-Star suggested he could easily make at least $600 million in the league today. This would be more than what he earned during his 19-year tenure as a player, which is reportedly $292 million.
"Career earnings, I'm not counting your money, but I think you've made $292 million in 19 years," said Bet-David.
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He then asked Shaq how much he thought he would make if he played today.
Shaq quickly replied without hesitation, "Oh, I'd be $600 million. These bums make $600 million over two years. I wish I was playing now."
Shaq also believes that if he were an active player in modern times, his contracts would be somewhere between $200 million and $300 million.
"If you played today, you think you could make [$200 million], $300 million a year," Bet-David said.
"I'm telling you I would," Shaq said to Bet-David. "To play against these little cupcakes. I wish I was playing now, I swear.”
Shaq also shared his thoughts on the new wave of name, image and likeness (NIL) deals.
It seems that even in the present day, Shaq's interest in college would have been his studies, not necessarily securing the bag.
“Now they have this whole NIL thing. My thing is - I always thought college should be a place of higher learning. I know this whole business exists. They should pay the players, but if you understand the business, the kids - they travel privately, they stay in hotels. Who pays that? The books are paid for, the food is paid for. So you get paid something, but if you were in real life they would be called taxes. Think about it,” Shaq said.
He continued: "They get the money, but other companies get it to take care of a specific cause, but there are a lot of kids who make a lot of money. I wish them the best, but I wanted to go to college because I wanted to fulfill my parents' dreams and learn. I wanted to educate myself for life after basketball.”

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