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Shaquille O'Neal Revealed His Advice To His Son Shareef: "I Tell Him All The Time, 'You Are Never Going To Be Me.'"

Shaquille O'Neal Revealed His Advice To His Son Shareef: "I Tell Him All The Time, 'You Are Never Going To Be Me.'"

It cannot be easy for someone to be the son of one of the NBA's most dominant forces. Shaquille O'Neal, both literally and metaphorically, has left big shoes to fill for his son Shareef, who has also decided to pursue professional basketball as a career. On the one hand, having Shaq be his father has given him access to the best training as well as opportunities. On the other, it has brought massive expectations along with it. 

Shareef declared for the NBA draft in 2022 but went undrafted. After that, Shaq admitted that perhaps his son had declared a bit too early. He did get an opportunity to play for Los Angeles Lakers in the Summer League but was not retained. Now, he will spend a season in the G League as he continues to hone his craft and get his shot in the NBA.

Shaquille O'Neal On What He Told His Son Shareef About His Career

The Big Diesel is one of the most gruffly honest people in the NBA, and even when it comes to his son, he tells it as he sees it. There is some bias there, understandably, Shaq once compared his son to Giannis. However, he was surprisingly frank in his interview with FTW USA Today, revealing what he told Shareef in terms of career advice. 

"I set high standards like what my father set for me. He’s working hard. Of course, being an O’Neal kid, everyone thinks his journey is going to be like mine. But I tell my kids all the time: 'I’m an Amazonian that walks through the jungle. I’m crazy. Your path will never be like my path. You’ll have to choose your own path. However you’ll make it, you’ll make it.' He decided to go early. He had a good summer league and he will be in the G League. He still has a chance to fulfill his dream.

"I tell him all the time: 'You are never going to be me. Don’t let people tell you that you’re me because you’re not. Your father is crazy. Your father is an idiot. Your father was a monster on the court. You’re not like that. Develop your game. Develop your style. It’s fortunate and unfortunate that you’ll have to live with that name. But create your own way.' Hopefully, that takes the pressure off because I was crazy."

Almost no one can emulate Shaq; he was the original Superman and comfortably one of the best to ever do it. But as long as Shareef keeps taking his father's advice and continues to hone his craft, there's no way he won't eventually make it to the NBA. And when he does, he will have every chance to make his own legacy separate from his father's.