Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal may be a multimillionaire but that doesn’t mean he is handing out his money willy-nilly.
During an appearance on Good Morning America Wednesday, the retired professional basketball star, 46, revealed his parenting rule when it comes to shelling out money to his five children.
“My motto is ‘you have to get three degrees to touch some of my cheese,’” he told GMA’s third-hour hosts Sara Haines and Michael Strahan.
O’Neal is a father to three girls — Taahirah, 22, Amirah, 17, and Me’arah, 12 — and two boys, college basketball star Shareef, 18, and Shaqir, 15.
But as his kids get older, they’re also beginning to outsmart his parenting, as he shared one particular story involving Shareef during his on-air pedicure.
“He’s a great kid, does great in school. I kinda set myself up for it,” he admitted before starting the story. “So I said, ‘Son, you get all A’s you can get any car you want.’”
“I get a call from him and he said, ‘Dad, I’m at the Mercedes-Benz store, so I said, ‘Okay, I’m gonna take care of it but come to my office,’” O’Neal continued.
“You have to get three degrees to get some of my cheese,” @SHAQ shares some parenting advice. #GMADay https://t.co/W1vUNLSAev pic.twitter.com/kuhdp8fbdB — Good Morning America (@GMA) January 9, 2019
“You have to get three degrees to get some of my cheese,” @SHAQ shares some parenting advice. #GMADay https://t.co/W1vUNLSAev pic.twitter.com/kuhdp8fbdB
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 9, 2019
“And when he got to my office, I said, ‘Son, I’m rich. We’re not rich,’” the father-of-five joked. “I said, ‘I know I said that, but you need to go to Chevrolet, Ford, or Mustang.”
O’Neal previously revealed to PEOPLE that he doesn’t go easy on his five children when it comes to their education.
“I expect them to do their best,” he said. “My son got a D on a paper one time, and he said he couldn’t find the information.”
So how did the basketball legend react?
“I went off,” he said with a laugh. “I said, ‘Let me tell you something, buddy. You’ve got Google. You got Bing. What do you mean you can’t find it? When I was your age, I had to go to a neighbor’s house and buy an encyclopedia.’”
“If I were in school now, I’d be a genius,” he continued. “I’d be valedictorian. The world is at our fingertips. As adults, we have to help kids realize that.”
“You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have education, you can’t make it grow,” O’Neal added. “I didn’t want to be like 80% of the athletes who stop playing and have nothing. I don’t want to be part of that statistic. So I educated myself. I want that for my kids, too.”
Watch the full spot directed by Vincent Peone here: