Jermaine O’Neal is a former American professional basketball player who has a net worth of $50 million. O’Neal started playing in the NBA immediately after graduating from high school and was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers at the age of just 17. When he made his debut at 18, he was the youngest player to ever play an NBA game.
Jermaine O’Neal then spent his career with teams like the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors, and the Phoenix Suns. He achieved the most success with the Pacers, helping them reach the NBA Playoffs six times and achieving numerous franchise records. His other achievements include six NBA All-Star selections, the NBA Magic Johnson Award, and the NBA Most Improved Player award.
Jermaine O’Neal Early Life
Jermaine O’Neal was born on October 13th of 1978 in Columbia, South Carolina. Raised alongside his brother by a single mother, O’Neal veered towards athletics at an early age. His tall height made him ideal for a future career in basketball, and he was inspired by players such as Bill Russell. At the age of 14, he was already 6 foot 4, and he became one of the most promising high school players in recent memory when he continued to grow very quickly.
At the age of 16, he faced a controversy that could have destroyed his career. The District Attorney at one point considered charging him with rape due to an incident with his 15-year-old girlfriend. Although charges were dropped, the incident affected his on-court performance. This led coach George Glymph to make an effort to introduce structure into the boy’s life.
O’Neal’s senior high school season proved to be his most convincing. He averaged 22.4 points per game and achieved a number of additional honors and accolades. However, poor SAT scores made it unlikely that he would be given a college scholarship. Coach Glymph recommended that he go straight into the NBA, following the example of Kevin Garnett who had done the same just a year prior.
O’Neal accepted the advice and entered the 1996 NBA draft. He was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers, a team filled with veterans and talented players. Unfortunately, O’Neal missed the first 17 games of the season due to a bone contusion in his knee. This meant that his debut came just after he turned 18, which made him the youngest ever player to play in an NBA game. This record was later beaten by Andrew Bynum. Later that season, he became the youngest player to score 20 points in an NBA game.
Next season, Portland struggled to impress. Jermaine was mostly deployed as a substitute, averaging only about 10 minutes per game. Plagued with doubts over whether he should have attended college, O’Neal tried to remain positive but found it very difficult to get playing time with the Trail Blazers. During the 1997-1998 season, O’Neal hardly saw any playing time as Portland was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
Next season, the Trail Blazers made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before they were eliminated by the Spurs. Once again, O’Neal was contributing virtually nothing to the team. However, next season the team decided to give O’Neal a four-year, $24-million contract. Unfortunately, Jermaine still found himself sitting on the bench for most of the season. Finally, the Trail Blazers agreed that it wasn’t going to work out, and he was traded t to the Indiana Pacers.
With the Pacers, O’Neal achieved some of the most impressive achievements of his entire career. These included his first All-Star selections, an Eastern Conference Final, and of course much more playing time. His time was not without controversy, however, as Jermaine once punched a fan who had invaded the court. He was suspended for 25 games. Eventually, injury issues caused him to be traded to the Toronto Raptors. He then spent the rest of his career with teams like the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, and the Phoenix Suns. In 2013, he signed a new deal with the Golden State Warriors. After wrist surgery, he sat out the 2014-2015 season, and in 2016 he decided to retire.
Salary, Career Earnings and Contracts
Jermaine O’Neal salary was once $23 million per year. For a time, he was the second-highest-paid player in the NBA after Kobe Bryant. Before retiring, O’Neal’s most recent contract was a seven-year, $126-million deal with the Pacers.
During his career, Jermaine O’Neal earned $168 million in salary.
Jermaine O’Neal Real Estate
In 2011, it was reported that O’Neal was selling a mansion in Nevada for $3.5 million. He originally purchased the home for the exact same price back in 2007. At the time, it was suggested that this real estate sale was due to the NBA lockout, which would have placed certain financial limitations on Jermaine. The home boasts 7,600 square feet of living space, marble baths, a movie theater, an indoor basketball court, and a wine room.
In 2013, it was reported that a home in Carmel, Indiana that had once been owned by O’Neal was hitting the real estate market. The property was being sold for just under $3 million. Features include almost 12,000 square feet of living space, six bedrooms, a lighted tennis court (which can also be turned into a basketball court), an infinity pool, and two three-car garages.
In 2019, it was reported that Jermaine was trying once again to sell his home in Southlake, Texas. The home had been placed on the market numerous times over the past years, but it failed to attract a buyer each time. At his wit’s end, O’Neal decided to send the property to the auction block with no reserve. Originally built in 2012, the home is essentially a small resort, and has been described as a “mega-mansion.”
Over the years, it had been listed for approximately $11 million on various occasions, give or take a half-million. Featuring almost 16,500 square feet of living space, eight bedrooms, a game room, a wet bar, a bowling alley, a theater, a gym, and an indoor basketball court. The residence sits on almost 5 acres of land that feature a large pool with a waterslide, an outdoor kitchen, and a golf green. Additional features include an elevator, a six-car garage, and a driveway complete with fountains.