Shaquille O’Neal did not need son Shareef to enter the NBA Draft

Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Shareef O’Neal, attended a pre-NBA Draft exercise on the Lakers facility on Tuesday towards his father’s needs.

Shaq – whose No. 34 Lakers jersey was retired by the crew in 2013 – most well-liked his 22-year-old son keep in class, however Shareef insists he’s prepared for the NBA plunge.

“We type of bump heads about this course of,” the youthful O’Neal advised reporters Tuesday – two days earlier than the 2022 NBA Draft – on the Lakers follow facility, including that he hasn’t leaned on his father for recommendation all through the method.

Shareef, like his father, attended LSU, however had a a lot completely different story than his dad. He performed a complete of 37 video games over three seasons with UCLA and LSU as a result of numerous well being points – and averaged 11 minutes, three rebounds and a couple of.6 factors per recreation. He underwent open-heart surgical procedure throughout his freshman 12 months (Dec. 2018) at UCLA and was sidelined with foot and ankle accidents in his two seasons at LSU.

Shareef O’Neal throughout the 2022 G League Elite Camp on Could 17, 2022.
NBAE by way of Getty Photographs

“He wished me to remain in class. I wished to higher myself by way of this, ”Shareef mentioned about his father – who dominated at LSU earlier than going No. 1 to Orlando within the 1992 NBA draft. “He is aware of I’m figuring out with groups. However I am not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I am type of simply going by way of it. He did not do any pre-draft exercises; he simply obtained straight on the [Orlando Magic]so it is a completely different grind.

“So, he didn’t need me to do that, and I do know he in all probability doesn’t need me saying this, however sorry. We’re each grown, we’ll get previous it. “

Shaq didn’t graduate earlier than coming into the NBA, however ended up going again to LSU to finish his diploma. He then obtained a masters on the College of Phoenix on-line, and a doctorate at Barry College.

The Lakers should not have any picks within the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday evening, however have continued to carry pre-draft exercises with younger expertise, together with Jordan Corridor (St. Joseph’s), Cole Swider (Syracuse), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State) , Kyler Edwards (Houston) and Isaiah Whaley (UConn).

Shaquille O'Neal during Governors Ball Music Festival at Citi Field on June 11, 2022.
Shaquille O’Neal throughout Governors Ball Music Competition at Citi Subject on June 11, 2022.
Getty Photographs for Governors Ball

“I really feel like me and him have a complete completely different story now,” Shareef mentioned when requested if he felt any strain following his father’s legacy. “I went by way of some issues that he didn’t undergo. He was the No. 1 choose within the draft. I type of needed to grind to get right here. I needed to grind so much. I needed to undergo some stuff these previous 4 years – foot accidents, coronary heart surgical procedures – and I do not actually look to be in his shadow. “

O’Neal – a 6-foot-10, 215-pound energy ahead – participated within the G League Elite prospect camp final month.

“I felt like in faculty I wasn’t getting sufficient alternative. I wasn’t feeling like myself in faculty, ”he mentioned. “[The invite] type of opened numerous doorways for me. … I really feel prefer it actually introduced me again and type of confirmed a bit of bit what I can do. And as soon as I began getting calls from groups to work out, I used to be like, ‘Man, that is what I need to do.’ I imply I am right here, it is proper in entrance of me, so simply go for it. So I continued to work. ”

Shareef O'Neal during the 2022 G League Elite Camp on May 17, 2022.
Shareef O’Neal throughout the 2022 G League Elite Camp on Could 17, 2022.
NBAE by way of Getty Photographs

O’Neal mentioned Shaq “did not like that concept in any respect” when his son determined to make an NBA push. It’s a robust risk that Shareef goes undrafted on Thursday evening and he should forge his method into the league as a free agent.

“It sucks that he did not like that concept, however I am a grown man, I am 22 years previous, I could make my very own choices,” Shareef mentioned. “It was proper in entrance of my face. I am not backing up from it. I will go get it if I see it. That is simply how I am constructed. I take every part the identical method. I took my coronary heart surgical procedure the identical method.

“Being cleared was proper in entrance of me, being wholesome was proper in entrance of me, and I went for it. I am not backing down from no person. I do know he is an NBA legend, I do know he is my dad, nevertheless it was proper in entrance of me, I needed to go get it. So, if he likes it or not, it is probably not going to cease me from doing what I need to do. “

Shaquille O'Neal after getting selected No.  1 in the 1992 NBA Draft.
Shaquille O’Neal after getting chosen No. 1 within the 1992 NBA Draft.
NBAE by way of Getty Photographs

Shareef reported to the Lakers facility, the place he wore No. 6 throughout the pre-draft exercise.

“Hopefully LeBron [James] would not get mad, ”he mentioned. “I obtained his [No. 6] follow jersey on. ”

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