Shaquille O’Neal Urged Son Shareef to Give Up NBA Aspirations After Life Threatening Heart Surgery

Published 07/29/2022, 1:30 PM EDT
Shaquille O’Neal (left) with son Shareef O’Neal | CREDIT: EMMA MCINTYRE/GETTY

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is one of the best players to ever lace up. He was an unstoppable force and his opponents had a torrid time facing him. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers win three titles in a row and was named the Finals MVP on all three occasions. The Orlando Magic selected him as the 1st overall pick in the 1992 draft. Everyone knew Shaq was going to be good and there was a huge hype about his arrival.

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On the other hand, Shaq’s son, Shareef O’Neal was not a huge prospect. In the 2022 draft, he went undrafted. However, the Lakers selected him for their summer league squad. Shareef’s journey to the league has not been the same as his father’s and the shadow cast by a legend like Shaquille O’Neal is not an easy one to come out of.

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In one of the recent episodes of his podcast called ‘The Big Shaqstrumental’, Nischelle Turner brought up Shareef’s game. While speaking about it, O’Neal revealed he didn’t want Shareef to play after his heart surgery.

Shaquille O’Neal is a proud father

Shaquille O’Neal said that he is proud of his son Shareef. He said, “I’m proud of him. Because after that surgery, I told him, ‘I don’t want you doing nothing. Sit your a** down. Go to school. Get a master’s degree. Come around one of my companies. You don’t ever have to do anything.’ But he’s like ‘Nope dad I wanna play.’ So he’s gonna play.”

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During the podcast, O’Neal said that Shareef’s journey is different from his. The Big Diesel said that he had to make it big to take care of his mother and that is not the case for his son. He also reiterated his claim that Shareef is ‘Giannis with a jump shot’. However, he said what differentiates Giannis Antetokoumnpo from other players is his motor.

O’Neal said that Giannis wasn’t like this when he first came to the league. He said that when Jason Kidd made him run with the ball and it developed him. Shaq also said that once his son Shareef gets game time and learns the team’s systems he will be alright.

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WATCH THIS STORY – ‘Look Who Made My Smoothie’ – Serena Williams’ Husband Alexis Ohanian Receives a Sweet Surprise From His Daughter Olympia

As per recent reports, Shareef O’Neal has signed a six-figure contract with the G League Ignite. It will be interesting to see how his basketball career unfolds.

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Bagavathi Eswaran

562 articles

Bagavathi Eswaran is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He has been playing the game of basketball for more than 20 years now and has also been following the NBA for more than 10 years. After not being able to go pro, this former college player decided to join the IT industry.

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