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Shaq attack: NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal and co-investor lost $192K in failed cannabis venture

Jul 25, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

NBA legend and second investor say they have received just $26,000 to date.

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Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal is back in the news over an old lawsuit and is likely still hoping for a slam dunk after claimed fund mismanagement involving a cannabis venture produced an air ball costing him thousands of dollars.

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The Sports Rush reported this week that O’Neal and another investor are part of a lawsuit against a former cannabis business partner, claiming he mismanaged funds. It is argued the company wasted investments and did not properly account for spending, media reports indicate.

O’Neal is not shy about diversifying his investment portfolio, with the website reporting he has his fingers in pies ranging from hospitality to technology. To that list, The Daily Mail adds real estate, eSports franchises and a minority stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

  1. FILE - Shaquille O'Neal attends the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. PHOTO BY JOE SCARNICI/GETTY IMAGES FOR TURNER SPORTS

    Shaquille O’Neal suing cannabis company over allegedly squandered $125K investment

  2. FILE: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic competes in the 2017 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest at Smoothie King Center on February 18, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

    ‘Damn, these boys are high’: Shaq dunks on Orlando’s Aaron Gordon ahead of All-Star Weekend

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    NHL legend Mark Messier is suing an Alberta cannabis company after losing $500k

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Cannabis, though, seems to have proved a dud for “Superman,” a three-time world champion and three-time NBA Final MVP, per The Bleacher Report.

It is alleged that O’Neal and another investor pumped about $192,000 into the weed business in 2016. The Daily Mail reported last year that O’Neal invested about two-thirds of the total and the second investor contributed the rest.

More than a year on, though, the basketball star reported he saw no evidence of licences, revenue or operations. Taking a shot at recovery, O’Neal and the other investor filed a $1.3 million lawsuit against the former partner and 10 John Does, The Daily Mail reported.

With the threat of legal action, it was reportedly agreed the former business partner would repay each investor about $13,000 in installments until they had been repaid in full. The lawsuit claimed only about $26,000 was received.

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The lawsuit is reportedly looking to help even the score by collecting $1.3 million, which would nicely cover the initial investment and a far bigger chunk of change in damages for the alleged fund mismanagement, according to TMZ Sports.

In the suit, the website reports the original injection of funds was meant to help the company “pursue opportunities in the field of legal cannabis.”

O’Neal is not the only sports great to get pummelled by pot. In 2020, Mark Messier filed a lawsuit against an Alberta-based cannabis company, Destiny Biosciences, after investing $500K into the company. A year after his investment, the company was $42 million in debt and placed in receivership.

Of course, sometimes lawsuits go in the opposite way.

Last year, for example, a cannabis company launched a suit against Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones last year in connection with alleged fraud and money laundering, USA Today reported at the time.

The suit reportedly alleged the defendants illegally managed and operated a cannabis facility and had not reported cannabis sales for several months.

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