“Our lives changed in that second” – Shaquille O’Neal’s mother reflects on his draft selection

Shaquille O’Neal is often regarded as one of the most dominant players who played in the modern era of the NBA. He imposed fear on his opponents with his sheer strength and skill whenever he was on the court.

PointsBet Built Differently Media Event

PointsBet Built Differently Media Event

Amid all the fame and glory he experienced throughout his 20 seaons in the NBA, he has maintained a close relationship with his mother, Lucille O’Neal, who spoke on the “Fluent and Chill” podcast about how she felt when her son made it to the NBA.

“I was so happy and I have to tell you that our lives changed in that second,” O’Neal said, “but I was happy for him because of the dream that he had for himself. So we said, ‘Okay, well to get there you need to do this, need to do this, and every step that he was able to take, got him closer to the NBA and he was the No. 1 draft pick.’”

Shaquille O’Neal had one of the most impressive NBA careers as he won four championships, three Finals MVP awards, one MVP award, along with other accolades such as being a 15-time All-Star and making All-NBA First Team eight times. O’Neal also had career averages of 23.7 points on 58.2% shooting, 10.9 rebounds, along with 2.5 assists and 2.3 blocks.

He played for six different teams. O’Neal started his career witth the Orlando Magic, where he played for four seaons before taking his talents to the LA Lakers. With the Lakers, he lasted for eight seasons as he captured three rings and one MVP award in 2000.

After a long career playing in Los Angeles, Shaquille O’Neal moved on to play four seasons with the Miami Heat as he won his fourth ring. Later, he also played for the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics.

Shaquille O’Neal’s complicated relationship with his father

Shaq to biological father: 'I don't hate you'

Shaquille O’Neal’s father, Joseph Toney, left him and his mother at a young age due to his incapability to stay clean from drugs. He later gave up his parental rights to Shaquille’s stepfather, Philip Arthur Harrison, who moved him and Lucille O’Neal to Germany before settling down in San Antonio, Texas.

Toney and Shaq didn’t interact with each other for years, until Harrison’s death. His stepfather’s death led to a reconciliation with his biological father as they were able to mend their relationship.


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