“Shaq was like, ‘Black people don’t drink coffee’” – Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz’s son says Shaquille O’Neal rejected a business proposal from his father, says Shaq still regrets it

LA Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is now known as one of the best NBA players that transitioned to being a businessman. However, there’s a particular story where O’Neal turned down a big opportunity.

While O’Neal was an active player, various companies asked him to endorse their products. There are times when O’Neal would get an invitation to invest in a certain company. According to Shaq, he’s had a ton of business ventures throughout the years. He’s franchised well-known products such as Krispy Kreme, Five Guys and 24 Hour Fitness.


However, there is one investment he refused to be a part of. He regrets not taking a chance on it, to this day. According to Jordan Schultz, son of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Shaq regretted not investing in Starbucks back then:

“My pop went to Shaq and asked him the exact same question. And he was Prime Shaq. This is like 2000 amidst their three-peat … Shaq was like, ‘Black people don’t drink coffee.’ He was like, ‘I never seen anybody of color drink coffee.’

“Whenever I’m drinking a Starbucks around him, he’s just like, ‘What got away? What could have been?'”


As great as Shaq is, he’s still capable of making mistakes. Looking at it now, Starbucks has become a global brand, and O’Neal missed out on a great opportunity.

How can Shaquille O’Neal’s son make an impact in the NBA?

2022 NBA Summer League: Phoenix Suns vs. LA Lakers
2022 NBA Summer League: Phoenix Suns vs. LA Lakers

Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef, declared for the draft but ultimately went undrafted. The LA Lakers were able to get him as part of their Summer League team in Las Vegas.

Shareef O’Neal signed a six-figure deal with the G League Ignite.

Shareef spent three years playing college basketball. However, his first year at UCLA was spent in recovery after he was diagnosed with a heart condition and had to undergo surgery. In 2020, he transferred to LSU, his father’s college team. He didn’t see much playing time and only averaged 2.9 points and 2.1 rebounds on limited playing time.


His Summer League outing wasn’t impressive either. O’Neal played two games and only averaged 4.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game.

Shareef is a different player than his father. Obviously, he’s struggling to make an impact on the court because his stats in the California Classic games are similar to his college stats. It may be a lack of playing time, but Shareef’s NBA journey is going to be a lot different compared to his father’s.

Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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