Despite the growing number of pro basketball players and NBA executives who embrace cryptoassets, legendary baller Shaquille ‘Shaq’ O’Neal says he has not invested a part of his estimated net worth of USD 400m in crypto, and will probably keep his distance from them until he gets a grasp of how blockchain technology works.
“I don’t understand it,” O’Neal told CNBC. “So I will probably stay away from it until I get a full understanding of what it is.”
The former Los Angeles Lakers player recognizes that numerous athletes have entered into partnerships with crypto-focused businesses or invested their own assets in crypto, but the success stories do little to push Shaq to venture into the industry.
“Every time somebody tells me one of those great stories, I like it. But from my experience, it is too good to be true,” he was quoted as saying.
Some of the latest examples of such cooperation include Stephen Curry who shoots hoops for the Golden State Warriors. Earlier this month, the NBA star joined NFL legend Tom Brady as an ambassador for crypto derivatives exchange FTX, signing a deal that will provide Curry with an equity stake in the business.
Long before the latest deal, the ball player was already involved in crypto trade, among others purchasing a Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) non-fungible token (NFT) for some ETH 55 (USD 177,316).
Another NBA player, Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, had long fought the league to have his USD 34.4m contract tokenized, selling it as a bond on ETH.
Meanwhile, with pro athletes increasingly eager to collect payment in crypto, some franchises, such as the Sacramento Kings, want to offer bitcoin (BTC) as a payment option to all of their players and coaches, as announced by the team’s owner, Vivek Ranadivé, last April. The entrepreneur said he aimed to allow all team staff to “get paid as much of their salary in bitcoin as they want.”
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