Not convincing enough during the summer for the Lakers to keep him, Shareef O’Neal has also not received the approval of the elders of the house. One of them even savagely dismantled him recently… In addition to that, he is a former teammate of Shaq, the player’s father.
We knew it from the start, the professional career of Shareef O’Neal would not be easy. Heart surgery during his NCAA course, not at the top on the floors when he played, the pivot was logically not selected during the draft last June, everyone ignoring him. The Lakers had nevertheless agreed to give him a chance after the event, signing him for the Summer League so that he could prove himself.
Unfortunately, the boy didn’t know how to seize his chance because unlike some of his teammates, he once again disappointed when he was in uniform. As a result, the Pourpres et Ors took the decision to separate from him, a new blow for the former LSU and UCLA when he has not even played a single regular season game. The good news for him is that he didn’t take too long to bounce back.
Indeed, the interior will now develop on the side of the G-League, having signed a nice contract with Team Ignite which will earn him a six-figure sum. It’s already that to start his professional career, but the problem is that expectations are still quite high about him. After all, he is the son of Shaquille O’Nealjust that… suddenly, even though his journey is strewn with pitfalls, observers expect great things from him.
However, as mentioned above, things are off to a bad start for the moment and this has already earned him to be set on fire by a former Lakers. Byron Scott was not the only one to speak about him, however, as Robert Horry made similar comments about him. The former stretch four knows the Shaq well, having rubbed shoulders with it during the three-peat of the Pourpres et Ors at the beginning of the millennium. On his podcast, the seven-time champion did not hide his disappointment with the young player:
Robert Horry Ruthless with Shareef O’Neal
I picked up my phone and was about to call Shaq, “Yo man, you gotta tell your son…he can’t just go out there and play with O’Neal’s name on his back, he has no right. He has to go out there and dominate.” You gotta try harder, man. You know, Shareef is such a nice boy that I don’t know if he has the courage to go out there and take what he wants.
The verdict is relentless to say the least on the part of Big Shot Rob, who thinks that the person concerned does not necessarily have what it takes to assume his name, so prestigious in the world of the orange ball. Between that and his injury history, there is therefore serious cause for concern about him. However, his career is still in its infancy and if he shines in the G-League, the guy will certainly have the opportunity to prove himself again at the next level.
The O’Neal surname is very hard to bear in the NBA, especially when you are the son of a legend named as such. However, it seems unfair to reduce Shareef to just that: the young pivot is his own man, and should therefore not be systematically compared to his father.