When it comes to his daughters dating, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal has one rule: no NBA players.
Shaq has three daughters, 24-year-old Taahirah O’Neal with his ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh and two with his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal, 18-year-old Amirah and 14-year-old Me’arah O’Neal. In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Shaq shared his thoughts on his daughters’ potential love lives. When asked if he would let his girls date NBA players, Shaq said “probably not” and said it would “probably” be a rule he would instill in his daughters.
Ultimately, Shaq prefers his girls to be “fully independent” before they start dating. “I want them to be fully educated, I want them to be fully independent. I want them to have most of those goals and once they get 18 on and they become little mini-adults, I’m not going to be the dad that says, ‘Do this, do that.’ I’ll just try to guide them on the right path, but in a perfect world, I’d like them to have a Bachelor’s, Master’s, go into their own field where they can own their own company and they won’t need anybody.”
Shaq shared a similar sentiment in a January interview with Us Weekly, saying that his girls should focus on themselves first before they start dating. He explained: “I don’t really have a lot of rules. I’m more of the friend than the disciplinarian,” says Shaq. “The moms do a great job of yelling and raising them and doing all that stuff. I’m more of the guy that’s the settler. If my ex-wife tells my daughter, ‘You can’t have a boyfriend now,’ I would be the one to say, ‘Guys are crazy. Do this. You need to focus on your education. Learn a little bit about yourself before you start thinking about guys. I’m more like the buffer.”