Shareef O’Neal, Father Shaquille Clashed Over 2022 NBA Draft Decision

Shareef has only played 37 games through three college seasons


June 22

Having an argument with a parent is a normal occurrence in life, but those dynamics are a whole other story if your father is an NBA Hall of Famer.

Shareef O’Neal will be entering the 2022 NBA Draft after a combined three years at UCLA and LSU. His famous father, Shaquille O’Neal, disagreed with the decision, according to Shareef, who revealed to reporters Wednesday the internal arguments he and his father have had throughout the NBA Draft process.

“I’m not backing down from nobody,” Shareef said, per Southern California News Group’s Kyle Goon. “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 gonna stop me from doing what I want to do.”

Shaq and Shareef have not talked about his workouts since it is a tense subject when it is brought up. According to The Athletics’ Bill Oram, Shaq wanted his son to stay in school for one more year. After being mistaken as an early opt-out, Shareef will hope to have his name called during the NBA Draft on Thursday.

Shareef was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school. He redshirted his freshman year after being diagnosed with a heart condition at UCLA — he underwent surgery on Dec. 2018. In the 2020 season, O’Neal transferred to his father’s alma mater, LSU. Injuries limited the forward to 24 games through two seasons.

O’Neal’s resume is lacking for a prospect, and there are few draft experts who have forecasted O’Neal to be selected in their two-round mock drafts or in their top 100 players.

Shaq’s mindset in wanting his son to remain in school is understandable. While teams, including the Boston Celtics, could always use wing depth on the bench, and drafting Shareef would be banking on his raw talent and upside.

Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
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