Bol Bol’s Biggest Problem Helps Shaquille O’Neal Gain New Found Respect for Late Sergeant Father’s Tough Upbringing

Published 01/24/2024, 7:31 PM EST

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What is that one trait that can make a talented athlete turn into a legendary player? According to Shaquille O’Neal, it is always discipline and his late stepfather is the one who instilled it into him at a very young age. Serving for the military, Sgt. Phillip Harrison used a few strict techniques from the army to bring some sense into a young Shaq.

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The Los Angeles Lakers legend has often shared his stepfather’s inspiration in several interviews. He did it once again today, but only to give heartfelt advice and a warning to Phoenix Suns’ star Bol Bol. The last few times Shaq spoke about the 7’3 center, it was in a comparison with Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama. Till today, the 4-time champion believes Bol Bol and Wemby have the same skill set and that the former displayed it way before the latter did in the league.

However, he also firmly believes that Bol Bol is “lazy”, and that is the only reason why fans hesitate to put him in the same conversation as Wembanyama. Shaq did not want Bol Bol to take things for granted. The 4x NBA champion shared, My father did the ghetto Karate Kid type stuff... I’ve won on every level except college… I used to win everything.”

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But Sgt. Harrison did not want the early victories to get to Shaq’s head. “So we played a game on Saturday, had the little cookout. On Sunday, the motherf***** trophies are gone. So my dad was a drill sergeant. You were not allowed to speak to him unless he spoke to you and every time he spoke to you it wasn’t all positive.” 

Big Diesel revealed that his father had kept the trophies away in a separate room so that the youngster wouldn’t be satisfied.He had a message to the young superstars, especially Bol Bol, “I’m glad you went viral, I’m happy for you, you’re getting paid, your dreams just finally come true, but it’s always more.” Looks like Shaq does not want to give up on Bol Bol easily. 

Shaq reveals the one time he had to suspend Bol Bol for being lazy

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The 2000 MVP has got a first-hand picture of how good the 7’3 star is. Back when he used to coach his son Shareef O’Neal at the AAU camp, Bol Bol also played under his guidance. Shaq shared that the Suns center would miss practice just because he was too lazy to come. What did Shaq do to punish him?

Big Diesel said, “We had to suspend him”, but, “I let him come back the next game, he dominated.” Shaq shared in another podcast that he had never seen an athlete of Bol Bol’s height move so fluidly. He also said he was jealous of him at times.

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Watch this story: “Who has reached 10,000 career points faster than Luka Doncic?”

Do you think Bol Bol can push himself to make it to the same level as Wembanyama? Share your take in the comments below.

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Written by:

Rohan Dharmalingam

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Edited by:

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