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How Shaq chooses to spend $848

November 17, 2011 | 11:24 am


Maxim recently gave Shaquille O'Neal $848 and took him to an Orlando mall to see how the four-time NBA champion would opt to spend the money.

On the drive over, he spent $500.

He pulled in front of a building he owned and gave two workers who were cutting the grass $100 each. Before long, he was swarmed by women wanting to take his photo. He decided to give them $300 of ching ching too.

“Those guys were working hard, sweating,” O'Neal said to the magazine, which we can't link to because of its risque photos. “They didn’t know it, but they were working on the grounds of a building I own. I like to take care of people who take care of me, make ’em smile.”

When he arrived at Mall at Millenia, he tipped the valet $40.

As O'Neal sauntered around the mall in size 22 slippers, the reporter noticed that people's scowls would instantaneously morph into smiles as the 7-foot-1, 325-pounder walked by.

“I get love from everyone: grandmas, gangsters, thugs," O'Neal explained.

He went on to purchase a $60 uControl Cloud Force RC helicopter and a $25 toy for his niece from Brookstone.

“I’ve gone through at least 100 of these things, for real,” O'Neal said of the helicopter. “I get them in the air, and then I get excited, lose control, and crash.”

He went to Starbucks next, where he bought a slice of pound cake and $70 worth of frappes for everyone in line.

O'Neal was once approached by Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz to invest in bringing the coffee chain to more urban communities. O'Neal declined the opportunity, a decision he regrets to this day.

"I’ve never seen a black person drink coffee," O'Neal said. "So I passed on it, and now Magic is getting my money!"

He spent the remaining $5 on a $70 top at Victoria's Secret for his girlfriend, Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander, who appeared on VH1’s "Flavor of Love."

As he searched for the perfect outfit, dozens of people followed him around.

“Can’t I buy some bras and panties without someone wanting a picture?” O'Neal said, laughing.


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-- Melissa Rohlin

 Photo: Shaquille O'Neal. Credit: Sean Gardner / Reuters