It looks as if Shareef O’Neal is following in his father’s footsteps, but Shaquille O’Neal may not be completely onboard. Shareef has been pursuing basketball throughout his life, even playing for both UCLA and LSU, but when his college career came to an end, there were questions regarding the 22-year-old’s future in sports. However, Today (June 21), Shareef visited the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility for a pre-draft workout, and while this sounds promising, he admitted that it has been a point of contention with his Lakers legend father.
“We kind of bump heads about this process,” he said during a press conference. “He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to better myself through this.”
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“He knows I’m working out with teams. But I’m not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I’m kind of just going through it. He didn’t do any pre-draft workouts; he just got straight on the [Orlando Magic], so it’s a different grind,” Shareef added. “So, he didn’t want me to do this, and I know he probably doesn’t want me saying this, but sorry. We’re both grown, we’ll get past it.”
“I felt like in college I wasn’t getting enough opportunity. I wasn’t feeling like myself in college,” he said. “[The invite] kind of opened a lot of doors for me. … I feel like it really brought me back and kind of showed a little bit what I can do. And once I started getting calls from teams to work out, I was like, ‘Man, this is what I want to do.’ I mean I’m here, it’s right in front of me, so just go for it. So I continued to work.”
“[My dad] didn’t like that idea at all. It sucks that he didn’t like that idea, but I’m a grown man, I’m 22 years old, I can make my own decision,” he continued. “It was right in front of my face. I’m not backing up from it. I’m going to go get it if I see it. That’s just how I’m built. I take everything the same way. I took my heart surgery the same way. Being cleared was right in front of me, being healthy was right in front of me, and I went for it. I’m not backing down from nobody.”
“I know he’s an NBA legend, I know he’s my dad, but it was right in front of me, I had to go get it. So, if he likes it or not, it’s not really going to stop me from doing what I want to do.”
Check out a clip of Shareef O’Neal’s conference below.