Shaquille O'Neal was perhaps one of the most influential centers of his time. Playing for the likes of the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami Heat, among others, O'Neal was the definition of sheer dominance on the court. Be it him running down the court in transition or using his ball-handling skills to create plays, Shaq was an absolute beast in his prime.
Ever since he retired from the game, pundits and fans alike have been on the hunt for finding the next Shaq. While players like Dwight Howard were in the conversation, O'Neal did not approve of the center. But the 4-time champion over the last two seasons has claimed that Milwaukee Bucks superstar and 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the Shaq of the NBA right now.
While Giannis might be one of the best players right now, Shaq thinks that his son Shareef O'Neal has all the qualities of the 'Greek Freak'. In a recent episode of his podcast, the 3-time Finals MVP claimed that his elder son Shareef is Giannis with a jump shot.
“I know for a fact he’s Giannis Antetokounmpo with a jump shot,”
The 4-time champion then went on to explain what his elder son needs to add to his game if he wants to become a superstar like Giannis.
"But you know what makes Giannis different from every other player? His motor… full speed every time. His motor is, ‘I’m getting the ball, I’m dunking on you, I’m running you over, I don’t care who’s in the way. No, I’m not joining up with any superstars.'”
While it is great to see how confident Shaq is in his elder son, Shareef might have to work very hard for an opportunity to play in the NBA. Although he did make his debut in the summer league, the 22-year-old did not impress many with his performances.
Despite having a frame of 6'10", Shareef clearly lacked the incredible physicality needed for the NBA and looked sluggish at times. He might have developed the skills required for the modern game, but if he fails to step up in his motor and his physicality, seeing Shareef replicate his father's success might be a longshot.