Shareef O’Neal Says Dad Shaq Isn’t Happy With His Decision To Enter NBA Draft: ‘We’ll Get Over It’

Shareef O’Neal wants to follow in his superstar dad’s footsteps, but it seems like Shaquille O’Neal has other ambitions for his 22-year-old son.

The topic came up during a press conference after Shareef’s pre draft workout with the Los Angeles Lakers, who are father played between 1996 and 2004.

During the conference, Shareef discussed how his career plans differ from the ones his father has in mind.

“We’re quite colliding with this process,” the 22-year-old began. “He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to improve myself because of this.”

“He didn’t do pre-draft workouts; he just came right on the [Orlando Magic], so it’s a different grind,” Shareef added about his father. “So he didn’t want me to do this, and I know he probably doesn’t want me to say this, but I’m sorry. We are both adults. We’ll get over it.”

Shareef stuck to his famous father’s topic and talked about the comparisons that people inevitably make between him and Shaquille.

“I feel like he and I have a very different story now. I went through some things that he didn’t. He was the number 1 pick in design. I had to grind a bit to get here. I had to many times,” he noted. “I’ve been through some stuff in the past four years — foot injuries, heart surgery — and I don’t really seem to be in his shadow.”

“I know it will always be there, the equation,” Shareef continued. “Every child is compared to his father who does the same as they do. So there will be. I don’t care.”

Embedding Getty Images

Shareef also spoke about how he feels the invite to the pre-draft workout will help make up for not “getting enough opportunities” in college, as he played basketball for both. UCLA and LSU

“I felt like I didn’t get enough opportunities in college. I didn’t feel like myself in college,” he said.[The invite] opened a lot of doors for me… I feel like it really brought me back and kind of showed what I can do. †

“Once I got calls from teams to train, I thought, ‘Man, this is what I want to do.’ I mean, I’m here, it’s right in front of me, so go for it. So I kept working,” Shareef added.

Shareef gushed about the opportunity to don official Lakers gear, saying he’s “hit stars.

“I came in today and I was a little starstruck. I was really born into this team. My dad and Kobe won championships when I was born, and now it’s me putting on the Lakers gear. It was crazy. I was speechless , a little bit,” Shareef recalls.

“It’s such a blessing for a team I grew up watching. My dad won championships with this team and now that I have Lakers stuff it’s great. It’s a dream come true,” he continued.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.