Shaquille O’Neal on Shareef’s potential: ‘I have a Giannis Antetokounmpo with a jump shot’

Orel Dizon
2 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal recently raved about his son Shareef, likening the young prospect to Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“What people don’t know is — I know I have a Giannis with a jump shot,” the elder O’Neal said. “That’s how I raised him. I have a Giannis Antetokounmpo with a jump shot, but people don’t know. So, hopefully he gets to go to a place where he can showcase his talent so people can see who he really is.”

To be compared to a two-time MVP is definitely noteworthy. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the younger O’Neal will be just as good as Antetokounmpo.

Currently, the 22-year-old is in the NCAA’s transfer portal after spending two seasons at Louisiana State University, the elder O’Neal’s alma mater. Before playing for LSU, the younger O’Neal spent time at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The younger O’Neal has some big shoes to fill, considering how his father’s NBA career turned out.

The elder O’Neal entered the NBA in 1992 as the first overall pick of that year’s draft. In just his third year in the league, he helped lead the Orlando Magic to the 1995 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Houston Rockets. During that season, the elder O’Neal led the league with 29.3 points per game.

He continued dominating the league after signing with the Lakers in the 1996 offseason. The elder O’Neal helped L.A. win three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002. He also won the league’s MVP award during the 1999-00 season.

The 15-time All-Star played eight full seasons for the Lakers and averaged 27.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest during his time with the team. The Hall of Famer won another title with the Miami Heat in 2006 before retiring from the league in 2011.

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Orel is excited about the prospect of “Showtime Lakers” making a comeback, thanks to the presence of the King and the arrival of the Brow.