Shaquille O’Neal talks about his initial motivation to play in the NBA, says Shareef needs a different one to succeed


Shaquille O’Neal spoke of his initial motivation to play in the NBA. It’s much different than what his son Shareef needs to do in order to make it to the league. Shareef played for the LA Lakers in the Summer League before signing a contract with the G League Ignite Team.

In an interview with USA Today, Shaq discussed a variety of topics, including Lusia Harris’ documentary, video games, his businesses and Shareef. The Lakers legend opened up about his son’s journey into becoming an NBA player. He wants him to carve his own path and not rely on being an O’Neal.

“I set high standards like what my father set for me,” Shaq said. “He’s working hard. Of course, being an O’Neal kid, everyone thinks his journey is going to be like mine. … He decided to go early. He had a good summer league and he will be in the G League. He still has a chance to fulfill his dream.”


Shaquille O’Neal also talked about his motivations as a player dreaming of making it to the NBA. Shaq had a different path back then since he did not have any privileges. He just had the size, skill, talent and hard work to become a great player.

The four-time champ’s main goal was to earn enough money to buy his mom a nice home. However, Shaq knows his son will need a different kind of motivation and dedication to make it to the league.

“I had to make it,” Shaq said. “He don’t really have to make it, but I had to make it. So I ran through walls because my motivation was different. I only had one thing: I had to buy my mom a house.

“Even if I just played for two years, as long as that lady got a new house, I was happy. He has to find his motivation and go for it.”


How did Shaquille O’Neal spend his first $1 million?

Shaquille O'Neal at the PointsBet Built Differently Media Event.
Shaquille O’Neal at the PointsBet Built Differently Media Event.

As mentioned above, Shaquille O’Neal wanted to buy his mom a house when he made it to the NBA. Shaq did just that and some more. In an appearance on the “Brian J. Roberts” podcast earlier this year, he revealed how he spent his first million.

“My mom and dad never had a brand new car,” O’Neal said. “Had to get it. … I had to take care of my mom and dad. That’s the first thing I did. … I gotta get them a house.

“Let me take care of them first so we was going house shopping. When I got the keys, the realtors left and I was like, ‘Here you go.’ She’s like, ‘What’s this?’ I said, ‘This is not my house. It’s your house.'”


Shaq’s parents also taught him to help other people in need. It’s one of the lessons he learned and continues to practice throughout his life. He has made headlines this year due to his countless good deeds. From helping a random couple in a store to helping the community, Shaq is a true Samaritan.

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