One of the more inspiring stories out of the NBA this offseason has been that of youngster Shareef O’Neal.
O’Neal, who many Los Angeles Lakers fans know well thanks to his famous father Shaquille, has overcome a lot in order to pursue a career in professional basketball. Over three years ago, the younger O’Neal had open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening condition.
On top of that, he’s looked quite impressive this summer and already signed a contract with a G League squad. Despite all of the young big man’s success, former NBA star Robert Horry isn’t sure that the younger O’Neal has what it takes to succeed in the NBA.
“I picked up my phone, and I was getting ready to call Shaq like, ‘Yo man, you gotta tell your son…he can’t be playing off the damn O’Neal name. He gotta go out there and play,'” Horry said during a recent episode of his podcast. “You gotta put forth some more effort man.
“You know Shareef’s such a nice kid, that I don’t know if he has that dog in him to go out there and take what he wants.”
Of course, it is always a topic of conversation when a former or current NBA star has a son that tries to follow in his footsteps. Current Lakers superstar LeBron James is watching the very same story play out with his teenage sons.
As for the younger O’Neal, only time will tell if he really has what it takes to play at the highest level. However, given the fact that he’s already come back from a serious heart condition and surgery, there’s very little doubt as to whether or not he’s able to work for what he wants.
Still, the 22-year-old’s name will only get him so far. All of his goals related to basketball going forward will have to be earned by his play on the court.