“I Give Them Incentive Packages”: Unbothered by Disappointed Sons, Shaquille O’Neal’s Strict Parenting Sees One Bias

Published 10/07/2023, 11:10 AM EDT

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Shaquille O’Neal is both conventional and unconventional in his parenting strategies. He’s not ashamed to admit he discriminates among his kids. If it upsets them, he’ll gladly accept it. As long as his kids fulfil his master plan, he’s good. Shaq is also employing a little expertise from his NBA days to negotiate his kids’ future.

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O’Neal has always been vocal that his kids won’t have the advantages of his fame and fortune. But if they do wish to get a part in it, they’ll have to live up to his strict standards.

Shaq’s daughters get the better end of the deal


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The NBA superstar multi-hyphenate Shaquille O’Neal has been loud and clear that his kids don’t get handouts from him. Superman has a bachelors and masters in business and he has an Ed.D degree. He’s not only a strong education advocate, he holds his kids to those standards.

Shaq was both funny and serious when he told them, “You can’t touch Daddy’s cheese until you get two degrees.” He even admitted giving his kids a hard time if they got a C.


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Thankfully, his kids do hold their end of the deal for the most part. He gushed to Hudson about what each of them was doing but he’s got a soft spot for his girls.  His eldest daughter, Taahirah, is a communications specialist who worked for her dad before.

While the eldest son, Myles, is following the DJ Diesel track, the younger ones, Shareef and Shaqir are basketball players. But Shaq’s putting his money on Amirah and Me’Arah. So Shaq said, “The boys are kind of upset. They like ‘you treat the girls different’ and I was like ‘you damn right I do.'” 

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Shaq’s admitted in the past that he didn’t raise his voice at his daughters. This time, he says, “You have to protect and provide for the ladies. So I give them incentive packages.” It’s not only two business degrees talking, this is the experience of a four-time champion negotiating with NBA teams.

The 2000 NBA MVP is using it to keep his girls on his vision. “I love my two daughters, I know that they’re watching. Daddy wants you to go to law school. He’ll hook you up.” 

Amirah, Me’Arah, the ball is in your court!

Shaquille O’Neal is a stingy dad

The youngest O’Neal kids are showing off all the hoops chops.


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Amirah O’Neal transferred to LSU, her dad’s alma mater, where she’s on the Tigers basketball team. She’s not in law but she’s majoring in agricultural business and hopes to have her own business in the future. Meanwhile, the youngest O’Neal, Me’Arah is impressing at Nike summits and close to deciding her college.

Shaq probably has his fingers crossed on a juris docteur. But he’s not that mean. He’s a noticeable presence at Me’Arah and Amirah’s games as much as in Shareef and Shaqir’s games. He’s also usually on tours with Myles and he’s claimed to be very protective about Taahirah.

He motivates them to impress him if they want his support. The odd tactic works and they’re all doing their own thing.


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But if they do call him for help, “I’ll be like ‘I ain’t got it, Daddy broke.'” If you can call $400 million in the bank ‘broke.’ Would you want a dad like Shaq?

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Written by:

Caroline John


One take at a time

Caroline John is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. She has been covering athletes outside the sports arena since the start of her reporting career. A writer at heart, she graduated with a degree in journalism from a reputed university.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair




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