The Los Angeles Lakers rolled the dice on big man Shareef O’Neal in the summer league this offseason. After O’Neal’s Summer League run with the Lakers came to an end, he joined the G League Ignite for the 2022-23 campaign.
One former Lakers player, Robert Horry, questioned whether or not O’Neal has the “dog in him” that will allow him to be successful at the highest level.
O’Neal, who is the son of Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, didn’t take the criticism personally. Instead, he offered an encouraging message by telling Horry that he does have what it takes to “go get it and take it.”
It’s a mature move by the younger O’Neal, who is looking to make a name for himself in the G League in the upcoming season.
The younger O’Neal played his collegiate basketball at two schools. He started his career at the University of California, Los Angeles before transferring to play at Louisiana State University.
Last season at LSU, he averaged 2.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 9.2 minutes per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field.
The younger O’Neal certainly has a long way to go as a player after going undrafted in the 2022 NBA Draft, but he does have access to some valuable knowledge and support from his father that could help him become a serviceable NBA player.
While the Lakers opted not to keep the younger O’Neal on their roster following Summer League, there’s always a chance he’ll end up back with the franchise if a roster spot opens up down the road.