It was just a few days ago that Shareef O’Neal told SLAM readers that expectations regarding him are high because of his father Shaquille O’Neal’s influence. Surprisingly enough, though, Shaq doesn’t believe that his kids truly understand the magnitude of his stardom.
“They always say Kobe [Bryant] or LeBron [James],” the star dad muses in a recent interview with Us Weekly. “I don’t think they realize who I was,” Shaq says. “They never really saw that,” he adds. “They never mention me.”
For those younger people who do not understand the amazing athleticism that was Shaq, it is important to note that the former NBA player competed in the association for nearly twenty years (from 1992 to 2011). Shaq won several championships, including the legendary “Three-peat” while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. The incredible athlete that Shaq was is why many have high anticipation for his son, Shareef, who is following in his father’s footsteps as a great basketball player.
“Probably everyone who’s heard of me, they don’t think I’m going to be as good as my dad,” Shareef admitted during a recent interview. “Some people are kind of believing in me. My dad, he says I was better than him when he was my age, so that kind of boosted me up a little bit,” Shareef revealed.
Still, even with his son believing his dad set a standard, Shaq believes that his kids, for the most part, see his past career as an NBA player as a means to an end. “All they really see are Toys ‘R’ Us, the Apple store, Best Buy and all of that stuff,” the star dad shares with Us Weekly. “To them, I’m Dad.”
Shaq is the proud father of five children.