"You Know How Boys Are"

There is a special place in Shaq’s heart for his daughters. The retired NBA player recently sat down with The Pivot podcast where he discussed his parenting philosophy, which favors his girls out of all six of his kids.


“I like my girls a little bit better,” Shaq shared with the podcast’s hosts. “Because as a man, you have to protect, provide and love your woman,” the celebrity father explained. “I trust them more because they’re more sensitive, they’re more caring, and they’re thinkers,” Shaq said of his daughters.

“You know how boys are,” the retired NBA player continued. “My boys, you bring something in front of them, and they’re gone,” he added. “I tell my boys, ‘When y’all get 18 you all got to go. Girls can stay as long as they want. [The girls] can stay as long as y’all want, take your time. Go to college, get your master’s, get your doctorate, I’ll pay for it. Take your time.'”

Shaq has done much to build his empire since leaving the NBA. He owns 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 40 24 Hour fitness centers, and 150 car washes. Shaq also owns a shopping center and movie theater as well as several nightclubs in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“All the stuff I’m doing now, that’s the stuff I wanted to do,” Shaq said during his segment on The Pivot. “I wanted to invest, I wanted to buy companies, I wanted to be on boards, I wanted to do certain things because I may not be a husband, but I’ll always be a father and the father’s job is to protect, provide and love,” the celebrity father shared.

Shaq was married to Shaunie O’Neal for five years before he filed to divorce her in 2007. The two reconciled shortly before Shaunie file for separation and sole custody of their children months later. In all, Shaq and Shaunie parent four kids – Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah – together. Shaq also fathers Myles, who is Shaunie’s son from a previous relationship, while having his daughter, Taahirah, with his ex-girlfriend, Arnetta Yardbourgh.

“I don’t like to use the term baby mamas,” Shaq said of how he references the mothers of his children. “I have two wonderful women that have given me beautiful, gorgeous children,” the entrepreneur said. “I have to protect and I have to provide and I have to love for them forever,” Shaq continued.

“That’s why I work so hard. I don’t work for me, I got it all. I got to work for them and I got to work for my six babies.”



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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