Shaquille O’Neal opens up on essentially getting depressed despite having ‘perfect’ situation: ‘I know I messed up’

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal is known to be a pretty honest person.

The iconic big man has never been one to hold his tongue. In the past, that has led to hilarious and poignant moments.

In a recent interview, O’Neal held nothing back when talking about his divorce from his ex-wife Shaunie. He made it clear that he was dealing with some mental health issues despite the fact that his life seemed perfect from the outside looking in.

“I had the perfect situation,” he said. “Wife was finer than a mug, kept giving me babies, still finer than a mug. I had it all, and I don’t make excuses. I know I messed up. When I didn’t have that…I was lost. 76,000 square-foot house by yourself, lost. … You start to feel it.”

It’s a moment of real vulnerability from a larger-than-life character. There were absolutely times in Shaquille O’Neal’s NBA career where he seemed somewhat cruel or discounting to other players. He was a powerful figure on the court, and he used his raw size and strength as a way to exert his dominance.

However, in recent years during his post-playing career, he has certainly become a softer version of himself. That emotion and honesty was seen in its rawest form in the aftermath of his former teammate Kobe Bryant’s death.

Shaquille O’Neal spoke candidly about losing loved ones and trying to pick up the pieces after such losses.

Overall, the aforementioned instances serve as important reminders for fans that while NBA players often seem larger than life, they are in fact humans. There are few better examples of that fact than the Lakers legend himself.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.