Shareef O’Neal was barely 6 months previous when his father, Shaquille O’Neal, teamed up with Kobe Bryant to win the primary of three championships collectively for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The elder O’Neal went on to have his No. 34 jersey retired by LA in 2013 and was enshrined within the Naismith Memorial Basketball Corridor of Fame in 2016.
But when the youthful O’Neal reported to the Lakers apply facility for a pre-draft exercise on Tuesday, it wasn’t along with his father’s blessing.
“We sort of bump heads about this course of,” O’Neal, 22, stated at a video information convention. “He wished me to remain in class. I wished to higher myself by means of this. He is aware of I am figuring out with groups. However I am not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I am sort of simply going by means of it. He didn’t do any pre-draft exercises; he simply received 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 to say this, however sorry. We’re each grown, we’ll get previous it.”
O’Neal is coming off a difficult collegiate profession, throughout which he totaled simply 37 video games over three seasons with UCLA and LSU.
His averages of two.6 factors on 40.5% from the ground, 3.0 rebounds and 0.4 blocks pale compared along with his father placing up 21.6 factors on 61% taking pictures, 13.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per recreation for the LSU Tigers earlier than going No. 1 to Orlando within the 1992 NBA draft.
The draft prospect identified that the manufacturing can’t be judged in direct comparability after he underwent open-heart surgical procedure as a freshman and later handled foot and ankle accidents that sabotaged his final two seasons at LSU.
“I really feel like me and him have an entire completely different story now,” O’Neal stated when requested if he felt any stress following his father’s legacy. “I went by means of some issues that he didn’t undergo. He was the No. 1 choose within the draft. I sort 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 probably not look to be in his shadow. “
He credit Lakers athletic coach Shane Besedick, who used to work with UCLA, for saving his life by discovering the best anomalous coronary artery difficulty of their time with the Bruins.
“I do know it is at all times going to be there, the comparability,” O’Neal continued. “Each child goes to get in comparison with their dad who does the identical factor as them. In order that’s going to be there. It doesn’t hassle me.”
O’Neal – an influence ahead at 6-foot-10, 215 kilos in comparison with his father who performed middle at 7-1 and north of 300 kilos – stated he was decided to remain within the draft after taking part within the G League elite prospect camp final month.
“I felt like in school I used to be not getting sufficient alternative. I used to be not feeling like myself in school,” he stated. “[The invite] sort of opened loads of doorways for me. … I really feel prefer it actually introduced me again and sort of confirmed somewhat 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 wish 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. “
The choice didn’t go over nicely along with his father, nevertheless.
“He didn’t like that concept in any respect,” O’Neal stated. “It sucks that he didn’t like that concept, however I am a grown man, I am 22 years previous, I could make my very own choices. It was proper in entrance of my face. I am not backing up from it. I’ll go get it if I see it. That is simply how I am constructed. I take all the pieces 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, but it surely 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 wish to do. “
The Lakers don’t maintain any picks within the draft Thursday – no first- or second-rounders – however have nonetheless hosted a handful of draft exercises the previous couple of weeks to see prospects up shut. They hope to have the ability to purchase a choose Thursday night time and are interested by including younger expertise that goes undrafted, like they did with Austin Reaves final season, sources advised ESPN.