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Shaquille O'Neal's Mom Reveals Heartwarming Tradition She Shared With Her Son Before Games

Shaquille O'Neal

As a 7-1 300+ pound man, Shaquille O'Neal wasn't a guy people wanted to mess with.

On the court, his strength and power translated into one of the most dominant careers in basketball history.

Still, he was a sucker for his momma. As Shaq’s mom, Lucille O’Neal, revealed in an interview on ‘Today,' she had a ritual with her son that involved giving him bubblegum and a kiss before every game.

“I’ll give him a wink and a smile, and he was playing his game. But by the time he got to the NBA, we had a ritual. I would give him bubblegum and then I give him a kiss and I say play your game. As a grown man,” Lucille told Sheinelle of ‘Today’.

It's great to hear that O'Neal had such a tight connection with his mother and that he wasn't afraid to show her some love before his games. Of course, it's not just his mom. Shaq has a close relationship with most of his family, and is often seen providing for them (and the less fortunate as well).

According to something Shaq said last year, it might have something to do with a promise he made his father.

"My father used to come to class and whoop me in front of everybody. Yeah. Long time ago. But, I was a major, high-level juvenile delinquent that could've definitely been in trouble all the time. Every time I left the house, it was trials and tribulations for me. 'Do I put this needle here? Do I smoke here? Do I sell this? Do I carry this gun for this guy? Every time I left the house. And my father knew I was stubborn and hard-headed, that's why he knew that all the tactics he used on me would definitely work. And it did work."

"My father taught me not to really cry and be sad, so when he passed away I really let it go, because I didn't get to tell him thank you enough. ... Father taught me a long time ago, it's a man's job to protect and provide. So now that the don is gone, second in charge, which is me, I protect them and provide for my family. My brother's and sister's family. My mother's family. It's what you got to do as a man.

"College needs to be paid for, let the godfather do it. Do you need a new car? Let the godfather do it. And that's my job."

Over his 19-year career, Shaq put on one of the best careers we've ever seen. He was amazing.

Now, even over a decade after his final game, he continues to be an example for people all around the world, which may be his most impressive feat yet.

No doubt, his parents deserve some of the credit for the man he is today.