Jermaine O'Neal Net Worth

Written by Ivana - Reviewed by Tijana Athletes

10 min read
Net Worth $ 65,000,000
Real name Jermaine Lee O'Neal Sr.
Source of Wealth NBA career
Profession Former professional basketball player
Spouse/Partner Married to Mesha O'Neal
Date of Birth Oct 13, 1978
Zodiac Libra
Age 44
Gender Male
Pronoun He/Him
Height 211 cm / 6 ft 11 inch
Nationality American
Siblings Brother Clifford O’Neal

Biography

Jermaine O'Neal is a basketball player who played for several clubs, most notably the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors.[1]Jermaine played center - power forward position.

He had a career break at a very young age - at the age of 17 when he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1996 NBA draft as the 17th overall pick. O'Neal made his debut in professional basketball at 18 and entered NBA history as the youngest player to ever play in the NBA.

O'Neal has accumulated the most significant accomplishments an NBA player can have, including six-time NBA All-Star, All-NBA Second and Third team, and NBA Most Improved Player. His net worth is estimated at $65 million.

Early life and basketball career beginnings

Jermaine comes from Columbia, South Carolina. He and his brother were raised by his mother, Angela, who worked long hours to support them, which left them without much parental supervision while growing up.

His father wasn’t present in his life, which accounts for the lack of discipline and structure in his upbringing.

From a young age, O’Neal liked to play both American football and basketball. But being 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) at 14, it came naturally to him to choose basketball. He grew up with his two basketball idols, Hakeem Olajuwon and Bill Russell.

O’Neal attended Eau Claire High School of the Arts and started impressing basketball professionals as a high school player. He stood up with his defensive skills and grew up remarkably tall.

His coach George Glymph created the games’ defense with O’Neal in focus. His average score was 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 blocks per game, which increased to an average of 22.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 5.2 blocks per game during his senior year.

During his high school career, O’Neal earned the important achievements a promising basketball player can get. He was named South Carolina's Player of the Year and "Mr. Basketball," USA Today's All-USA Basketball Team and First-team Parade All-American.

Despite his stellar achievements, Jermaine was involved in a controversy related to rape when he was 16. District Attorney almost charged him rape of his 15-year-old girlfriend. The report was filed by the girl’s father after he found them half-naked in bed together.

The charges were eventually dropped, but the scandal affected his performance on the basketball court.

O’Neal’s basketball excellence was in conflict with his poor SAT scores, which meant he was less likely to receive a scholarship and continue playing basketball in college. Therefore, coach Glymph suggested he go directly to the NBA, following in the footsteps of the NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett.

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Professional basketball career and the NBA

Playing for the Portland Trail Blazers

Jermaine was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 17th pick in the NBA Draft in 1996. He was fortunate to have established veterans and basketball stars in the team from whom he could learn a lot.

Unfortunately, he sustained a bone contusion to his knee and had to miss 17 games. O’Neal debuted as an NBA player at 18 against the Denver Nuggets, with which he became the youngest player to play in an NBA game (until Andrew Bynum entered the league). He also made history as the youngest player to score 20 points in a game against the Seattle SuperSonics.

However, his bright high school career was followed by uneventful NBA beginnings. Jermaine appeared in a total of 45 games, scoring an average of 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He was mostly on the bench and played an average of 10.2 minutes a game.

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Because of this, O’Neal started having doubts about whether he made the right decision by skipping college and going straight for the NBA, especially seeing friend and fellow draftee Kobe Bryant having a great season.

However, Jermaine decided to persevere and believe in himself. But the next season, he couldn’t make a break from the substitute position to the first team. He was rarely included in a game and averaged 3 minutes per game. The Trail Blazers didn’t have a good season as well, being eliminated by the Lakers in the first round.

The following 1998–99 season, Portland made it to the Western Conference Finals, but they lost to the Spurs. O’Neal’s play was also insignificant, averaging less than 10 minutes a game.

Despite the unimpressive stats, the Trail Blazers offered O’Neal a four-year-contract for $24 million. However, it didn’t bring him more action in the games, and he mostly sat on the bench in the 1999–2000 season.

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Transfer to the Indiana Pacers

Finally, O’Neal transferred to the Indiana Pacers, which proved to be the right choice for his career. He came in as a refreshment to the team and quickly became a key player in the team.

Jermaine’s statistics improved greatly in the 2000–01 season, to an average of 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He played for the Indiana Pacers until 2008 and helped the team reach NBA Playoffs six times in six seasons and go to the Eastern Conference Final in the 2003–04 season.

During his Pacers career, O’Neal racked up his most significant awards and honors. He was awarded the NBA Most Improved Player Award in the 2001–02 season, was voted NBA All-Star six times, and was named to the All-NBA teams three times: Second Team in 2004, and Third Team in 2002 and 2003.

O’Neal was selected to play in the national basketball team in several tournaments, including the 2002 World Basketball Championship, the 2003 Tournament of the Americas, and the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Controversies, injuries, and retirement

During the game against the Pistons in the 2004–05 season, a brawl broke out in the crowd, and fans started throwing drinks and snacks at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. O’Neal started fighting with fans that stepped on the court and punched one fan so hard that his teammates thought he killed him.

The incident was humorously named "The Malice at the Palace," and it would remain something after which people would remember O’Neal in the years after his retirement from basketball.

As a result, Jermaine was suspended for 25 games. In the same season, he badly injured his shoulder and barely played through the rest of the season. He missed a lot of games the next season as well, and the Pacers also performed badly.

In 2008, he was traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he played one season. Throughout the rest of his career, he played for Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Golden State Warriors.

The year 2013 proved a hard year for O’Neal. He took time off because of his daughter's heart surgery, and he had wrist surgery later that year. Physically and psychologically drained, he decided to skip the 2014–15 NBA season.

“Those two years [in Boston] were very difficult for me, because not only did I feel like I was wearing down physically, I was wearing down mentally,” O’Neal said. “That was the first time in my life I felt myself starting to break away a little bit,” stated Jermaine for Grantland.[2]

Eventually, in 2016, he decided to retire and focus on his family.

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Jermaine O'Neal post-basketball career

After his retirement, O’Neal joined the executive board for the Netflix documentary “Untold: Malice at the Palace,” in which he openly spoke about the events that transpired the night of the incident when a fight broke out between Indiana Pacers fans and the team players at The Palace of Auburn Hills.[3]

The documentary presents O’Neal as a reformed man compared to his younger version people associate with the incident.

The former NBA player has become an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He’s invested in numerous businesses, including Zesty, Athos, Next Caller, Uproxx Media Group, and TrueVault.

O’Neal has also kept his involvement in basketball as a member of the board of directors in Big3 - Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league. He has also invested in the next generations of basketball players by founding Drive Nation, a world-class sports complex near the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.[4]

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Additionally, in 2020, the former Pacers player, together with his fellow NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, founded Seven1 Sports & Entertainment Group, an agency offering all sorts of services aspiring athletes need, such as day-to-day player management, marketing strategies, draft strategy and training, contract negotiations, media relations development, and career development.[5]

Personal life

Jermaine O’Neal is married to Mesha O’Neal. The couple tied the knot in 2005. They have two children, a son, Jermaine Jr., and a daughter, Asjia.

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Conclusion

Jermaine O’Neal is a former professional basketball and NBA player who made a name for himself while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, and then Indiana Pacers. He was the youngest player to ever play in the NBA.

O’Neal was voted NBA All-Star six times, has been voted All-NBA teams three times and named NBA Most Improved Player.

Currently, he is an accomplished entrepreneur and philanthropist; he’s the founder of the Seven1 Sports & Entertainment Group sports agency and the Drive Nation, a state-of-the-art sports complex.

His net worth is estimated at $65 million.

References

  1. Jermaine O'Neal (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jermaine_O%27Neal (Accessed: December 7, 2022). 

  2. Tan, J.J. (2022) "I was wearing down mentally" - Jermaine O'Neal recalled the first time he realized his career was ending, Basketball Network - Your daily dose of basketball. Basketball Network - Your daily dose of basketball. Available at: https://www.basketballnetwork.net/old-school/jermaine-oneal-recalled-the-first-time-he-realized-his-career-was-ending (Accessed: December 7, 2022). 

  3. Drive Nation Sports. (no date) Available at: https://www.drivenationsports.com/ (Accessed: December 7, 2022). 

  4. Jermaine O'Neal (no date) IMDb. IMDb.com. Available at: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1574363/ (Accessed: December 7, 2022). 

  5. Sports agency: SEVEN1 Sports & Entertainment Group (no date) Mysite. Available at: https://www.seven1agency.com/ (Accessed: December 7, 2022).