Shaquille O’Neal offers heart-wrenching advice to Jason Kelce amid retirement talks: ‘I didn’t have anybody’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal shared a heartbreaking message with Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce as the NFL star considers retirement.

“I made a lot of dumba– mistakes to where I lost my family, and I didn’t have anybody,” O’Neal said on The Big Podcast with Shaq. “That’s not the case for you, so enjoy your beautiful wife, enjoy your beautiful kids and never dwell on what we had. What we had is what we got. You got the ring, people know who you are. Enjoy, because again, I was an idiot, and I’ve talked about it a long time. I lost my whole family. I’m in a 100,000 square-foot house by myself.”

O’Neal showed some serious regret for messing up relationships with his family, as he and his ex-wife Shaunie Henderson were officially divorced back in 2011.

It’s a kind move by the Lakers legend and four-time NBA champion to share that advice with Kelce, who has played with the Eagles since the 2011 season.

Kelce and his wife Kylie have three daughters, and the likely future Hall of Famer certainly could spend time with them instead of returning for another NFL season.

The Eagles star was a sixth-round pick back in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he’s become one of the best interior lineman in the history of the game, winning a Super Bowl and making seven Pro Bowls.

Jason Kelce has been selected to six All-Pro first teams, a major accomplishment for a player that was not drafted in one of the first rounds of the NFL draft.

He shared to O’Neal that he’s not quite ready to make a decision on his NFL future just yet.

“I think if I still want to play, I’m going to play,” Jason Kelce said. “I think right now we’re not far enough away from the last game. It’s emotional, it’s a long season, the end of the season quite frankly, awful. So I’m just going to take some time, rest, recoup and then figure it out.”

This past season, Jason Kelce was named to the Pro Bowl and earned another All-Pro selection while playing in all 17 games for the Eagles during the regular season. Unfortunately, the team was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Philly did make the Super Bowl in the 2022 season, so it’s possible that Jason Kelce could want to make one more push to claim a second title in his NFL career.

Regardless of Jason Kelce’s decision, it seems like he has people like O’Neal in his corner wanting the best for him in whatever he chooses to do in his future.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.