Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous and beloved NBA stars to ever play the game. Often times, when people have to think of one name associated with the sport, his is the one they land on. As such, it came as something of a surprise this week when he suggested that he wouldn’t want his daughters dating NBA players.
First and foremost, O’Neal admitted that his primary dream for his daughters is their happiness and independence. He wants 24-year-old Taahirah, 18-year-old Amirah and 14-year-old Me’arah to be able to do whatever they want in life. The one thing he doesn’t want for them, though? NBA player beaus.
“I want them to be fully educated or … fully independent,” he told Us Weekly. “I want them to have most of those goals and once they get 18 on and they become little mini adults, I’m not going to be the dad that says, ‘Do this, do that.’ [I’ll] guide them in the right path… In the perfect world, I’d like them to have a bachelors and masters and [be] going into their own field.” When asked if he wanted them to date NBA players, O’Neal admitted, “Probably not.”
O’Neal also acknowledged that he doesn’t really have a ton of rules for his children. The discipline would come from their mothers, it would appear.
“I don’t really have a lot of rules,” he admitted. “The moms do a great job of yelling and raising them and doing all that stuff. I’m more of the guy that’s the settler.
“If my ex-wife tells my daughter, ‘You can’t have a boyfriend now,’ I would be the one to say, ‘Guys are crazy. Do this. You need to focus on your education. Learn a little bit about yourself before you start thinking about guys. I’m more like the buffer.’”
O’Neal’s daughters were the product of his relationship with Arnetta Yardbourgh and marriage to Shaunie Nelson. He also has two sons with Nelson – 20-year-old Shareef who plays basketball for LSU and 17-year-old Shaqir who attends Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California.
Yikes. The beef is real. https://t.co/jYnL8dCPQf
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 21, 2020
After an extremely successful NBA career that spanned two decades and saw him play for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics, O’Neal smoothly transitioned into broadcasting. He is now a member of TNT’s extremely popular Inside the NBA show alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith and Ernie Johnson Jr.
O’Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017.