NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal knows a thing or two about the pleasures of luxury, but his adventures with a $600,000 Lamborghini teach that not every indulgence yields profitable returns.
The Miami Heat Era and a Near-Death Experience
While playing for the Miami Heat (n American professional basketball team based in Miami), O’Neal took the plunge and bought himself a luxurious Lamborghini. But a spine-chilling incident, described vividly in his autobiography “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” changed his relationship with the car.
While driving 90 miles per hour, O’Neal found himself in a life-threatening situation when a car cut him off abruptly. The Lamborghini spun out of control, causing him to resolve never to drive it again.
“I put the car in reverse, got out, and tried to stop my knees from buckling,” O’Neal wrote. “I decided right then and there, ‘I’m never driving this car again.’ And true to my word, I didn’t.”
New Team, New Buyer
Fast forward to his trade to the Phoenix Suns during the 2007-08 season. O’Neal, determined not to drive the Lamborghini again, still took it with him. His All-Star teammate, Amar’e Stoudemire, took an interest in the car, leading to an unexpected proposal.
O’Neal shared, “Amar’e offered me $120,000 for it. I was scrolling through the Robb Report and found what would eventually be the Shaq-Liner for $110,000. I figured I’d sell the Lamborghini to Amar’e for $120,000, buy the Shaq-Liner for $110,000, and put another $10,000 into it and break even.”
An Expensive Lesson in Car Trading
However, the math of this deal, as O’Neal realized later, didn’t favor him. Initially worth $600,000, the car had depreciated heavily by the time Stoudemire bought it.
“That’s being a Shaq-a-matician,” O’Neal joked, “except for one small little detail. The Lamborghini originally cost me $600,000. So, I lost a lot of money on it.”
Nevertheless, this transaction did allow him to replace the sports car with the ‘Shaq-Liner,’ a truck that comfortably accommodates his towering 7’1″ frame.
In the Light of Hindsight
During his time with the Heat, O’Neal made strides in basketball and had impactful off-court experiences. His Lamborghini episode, despite its financial setback, adds to the charismatic sports star’s larger-than-life narrative. This costly lesson, taken with O’Neal’s characteristic good humor and grace, once again proves his passion for life and its many luxuries.