Shaquille O’Neal’s son, one of the greatest legends in NBA history, 22-year-old Sharif O’Neal is eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft. But anyone who believes that his father supported him in this decision is wrong.
In a video interview on Tuesday (21), shortly after the pre-draft exercise at the Los Angeles Lakers, Sharif said the fact of enrolling in the draft caused a rift with his father.
“We talked about the process. He wanted me to stay at university. I wanted more than that. He knows I’m working with teams. But I won’t lie. We did. Didn’t talk about it. He didn’t do any pre-draft training, he went straight. [no Orlando Magic]”So it’s a different routine than the one he used to have when he was elected,” he said. “He didn’t want me to do that (sign up for the draft), and I know he probably didn’t want me to say that, but I’m sorry. We’re both grown up, we’ll get over it,” he said. Said.
Sharif was just six years old when Shakeel O’Neill teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win the Los Angeles Lakers’ first of three championships. Now, he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and shine in the world’s top basketball league.
O’Neal, the oldest, retired from his LA 34 jersey in 2013 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. The youngest, however, came out of a challenging college career and played only 37 games in three seasons. For UCLA and LSU, the average is 2.6 points, three rebounds and 0.4 blocks, far from what his father earned through the LSU Tigers before Orlando was first selected in the 1992 NFL Draft: 21.6 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game
On comparison and pressure, Sharif said he was not fit because he had to deal with foot and ankle injuries that kept him in LSU and had undergone heart surgery in the past. “I feel like my father and now I have a very different story,” O’Neal said, when asked if he felt any pressure after his father’s legacy. “I went through some things he didn’t go through. He was the No. 1 pick in the draft. I had to fight to get here. I had to fight a lot. I’ve had to go through some things in the last four years – foot injuries. , Heart surgery – and I don’t really feel in the shadow of it. I know it will always be there, by comparison, “O’Neal continued. “Every child will be compared to a father who works like that. So it will be there. It doesn’t bother me,” he said.
About his heart condition, he credits Lakers athletic coach Shane Besdick, who worked with UCLA, who saved his life by discovering a special abnormal coronary artery defect during his time with the Browns. ۔
O’Neill – 6 feet 1 and 100 pounds taller than his father, who was 7 feet 3 tall at the time and weighed 130 kilograms – said he was determined to enter the draft after joining the G-League Elite. Is. Prospect camp last month.
“I felt like I wasn’t getting enough opportunities in college. The type of invitation opened a lot of doors for me; I feel like it really brought me back and that kind of showed a little bit what I did. And once I got calls from teams for training, I was like, ‘Dude, that’s what I want to do.’ I mean, I’m here, it’s in front of me, so go ahead. So I kept working. “
However, the father did not welcome the decision.
“He didn’t like the idea at all,” O’Neal said. “It’s a shame he didn’t like the idea, but I’m a big man, I’m 22, I can make my own decisions. It was right on my face. That’s how I’m made. I I see everything the same way. I had my heart surgery the same way. It was okay to be free, it was okay to be healthy, and I went for it. I’m not backing down from anyone. I know he’s an NBA legend, I know he’s my dad, but he was right in front of me, I had to pick him up, so whether he likes it or not, it doesn’t stop me That’s what I want to do. “
The Lakers have no choice in Thursday’s draft – no first or second round – but they still have a lot of possibilities in draft practice over the past two weeks to get a closer look at the players. Sources told ESPN that they hope to be able to discuss an election on Thursday night and that they are interested in recruiting young talent who was not selected, as they did. What happened to Austin Reeves last season?
Photo: Reproduction Twitter / Sharif O’Neill