Shaquille O'Neal accomplished everything a basketball player could ever dream of, from winning four NBA championships to being named a three-time Finals MVP, notching 15 All-Star Game selections and grabbing two Olympic gold medals as an impending Hall of Famer.
As successful as he was over the course of his 19-year NBA career, one could make the argument that O'Neal has been as much of a slam dunk in the business world. In fact, "The Diesel" sat down with the Wall Street Journal last year to talk about some of his investments, ranging from energy drinks to nightclubs and even Google. Also, Forbes predicted that O'Neal would pocket $21 million in business ventures last year, more than he ever made in a single year of endorsements during his career.
That being said, the legendary center is adding to his business portfolio ... and he's getting some help from another sports star to do so.
TMZ Sports is reporting that O'Neal is jumping into the booming eSports business, teaming up with New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to buy into NRG eSports.
Their stake in NRG and partnership is significant for a couple of reasons. The first is NRG owns League of Legends and Counter-Strike teams, two of the biggest factions in the ever-growing eSports industry, period.
That and Shaq and A-Rod are seemingly grabbing a slice of eSports on its way up ... way up, as the industry continues to surge in popularity, having its own stage at the Consumer Electronics Show 2016 this past January in Las Vegas, where Turner and WME | IMG's newly-formed Eleague eSports league held its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Championship as the backdrop to the live NBA on TNT set. Also, ESPN launched its own eSports coverage platform earlier this year as well, adding to the industry's presence.
Shaq and A-Rod weren't the only superstars to buy into NRG, either. They're joined by Chicago White Sox star Jimmy Rollins, who's also an investor. In fact, NRG Chairman Andy Miller told TMZ that the trio approached them together to get involved, before signing on as official investors.
How did this come about? Well, the celebrity news site says that Shaq knows Miller because the two are amongst the Sacramento Kings' minority owners, while Rollins plays League of Legends himself and A-Rod just thought of it as a smart venture.
This comes after former NBA player Rick Fox already announced that he's the owner of his own League of Legends team, so it looks like sports stars jumping into eSports won't stop here.