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Shaquille O'Neal may gain another championship ring by joining LeBron James in Cleveland, but leaving Miami has already cost him nearly $3 million.
The Big Diesel's trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Phoenix Suns last week came just as he
sold his home on Florida's Star Island Drive -- four years and two teams since he first put it on the market.
Sitting on 2.5 acres along 300 feet of Biscayne Bay waterfront, the 19,400-square-foot home has eight bedrooms, a two-bedroom guest house, a tennis court, an indoor racquetball court, a six-car garage and a pool splashed with the Superman logo. It's just as flashy and formidable as the future Hall of Famer who owned it.
However, its closing price -- despite being the highest in Miami this year -- is as steep a dropoff from its original $32 million price tag as Shaq's acting ability is from his court presence.
"Shaq's house was the record sale so far at $16 million," says Jill Eber, Shaq's selling agent and partner in The Jills real estate firm in Miami. "Even though it's substantially off the price that he started at, it's still a very good sale, considering what's happening in our economy."
Eber and business partner Jill Hertzberg helped Shaq purchase the oversized property from former Miami Heat center Rony Seikaly for $18.8 million in 2004 when
Shaq was traded to Miami from Los Angeles. After Shaq put the property back on the market nearly a year later, Eber watched as his asking price deteriorated faster than his relationship with Kobe Bryant. The property was relisted last year at $29 million and again this spring at $22.5 million.