Shaq is one of the richest players in NBA history and even to this day, pulls in millions from the numerous endorsements he’s affiliated with. However, he had an opportunity to earn even richer earnings back in the day with Starbucks.
The story goes, Shaq had a meeting with Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz. Shultz wanted Shaq to be a part of the chain’s expansion into African-American communities, only to find out that Shaq had no interest.
Appearing on In Depth With Graham Bensinger, which airs this weekend, Shaq talked about the encounter.
“So Howard comes and says, ‘Shaq, I wanna give you the opportunity to go in with me and open up these Starbucks franchises in African American communities. And I’m always the guy that, if I don’t believe in it, I can’t do it. Will never do it. No amount of money can make me endorse something that I’m not 100 percent behind. So I looked in the great Howard Schultz’s face and said, ‘Black people don’t drink coffee, sir. I don’t think it’s gonna work.’ You should have seen his face. He was like…alright. We’re still good friends today, but that was one of my worst business decisions.”
Just think about all the money that Shaq would have had from Starbucks alone had he been on board. Ouch.