Shaquille O’Neal’s son, Sheriff O’Neal, attended pre-NBA draft training at the Lakers facility on Tuesday against his father’s wishes.
Shaq – who retired his number 34 Lakers jersey in 2013 – preferred that his 22-year-old son stay in school, but Sharif insists he’s ready to plunge into the NBA.
“We’re kind of rocking about this process,” the youngest O’Neill said Reporters Tuesday – two days before the 2022 NBA draft – at the Lakers training facility, adding that he did not rely on his father for advice throughout the process.
honest like His father, He attended LSU, but had a much different story than his father’s. He played a total of 37 games over three seasons with UCLA and LSU due to a number of health issues – averaging 11 minutes, three rebounds, and 2.6 points per game. he is He underwent open heart surgery During his freshman year (December 2018) at UCLA, he was sidelined with foot and ankle injuries in his two seasons at LSU.
“He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to improve myself through this,” Sharif said of his dad—who took control of LSU before going to Orlando #1 in the 1992 NBA Draft. “He knows I work with teams. But I’m not going to lie, we didn’t talk about this. I kind of go through it. He did not do any draft exercises; I just got [Orlando Magic]so it is a different grind.
“So, he didn’t want me to do this, and I know he probably didn’t want me to say this, but sorry. We both grew up, we’ll get through it.”
Shaq did not graduate before entering the NBA, but ended up returning to LSU to complete his degree. He then earned an MA from the University of Phoenix online, and a Ph.D. from Barry University.
The Lakers didn’t have any picks in the 2022 NBA Draft Thursday night, but they continued to do preliminary training with young talents, including Jordan Hall (St. Joseph), Cole Swider (Syracuse), Orlando Robinson (Fresno State) and Keeler Edwards (Houston ) and Isaiah Wally (Okun).
“I feel like I have a completely different story now,” Sharif said when asked if he was feeling any pressure after his father’s legacy. “I went through some things he didn’t go through. It was the #1 draft pick. I had to sort of grind to get here. I had to grind a lot. I had to go through a few things the past four years – foot injuries, heart surgery – and I’m not really looking forward to it.” Until I’m in his shadow.”
O’Neal – a 6-foot-10, 215-pound striker – participated in a potential G League Elite camp last month.
“I felt like in college I didn’t get enough opportunity. I didn’t feel like me in college,” he said.[The invite] It kind of opened a lot of doors for me. …I feel like it really took me back and kind of showed me what I can do. And as soon as I started getting calls from teams to work, I was like, “Man, this is what I want to do.” I mean here I am, it’s right in front of me, so go get it. So I kept working.”
O’Neill said Shaq “didn’t like that idea at all” when his son decided to make a batch of the NBA. There is a strong possibility that Sharif will be out on Thursday night and will have to work his way up to the league as a free agent.
“It’s annoying that he didn’t like that idea, but I’m an adult man, I’m 22, I can make my own decisions,” Sharif said. “It was right in front of my face. I don’t back it up. I’d go get it if I saw it. That’s just how I built it. I take everything the same way. I did my heart surgery the same way.”
“The purge was right in front of me, getting healthy was right in front of me, and I went for it. I don’t hold back on anyone. I know he’s an NBA legend, and I know he’s my dad, but he was right in front of me, and I had to go get him. So, Whether he likes it or not, it won’t really stop me from doing what I want to do.”
The sheriff reported to the Lakers facility, where he wore a No. 6 during the pre-workout.
“Hopefully LeBron [James] Don’t get angry,” he said. “I got it [No. 6] Work out in the jersey.”