Shaquille O'Neal was a dominating presence on the basketball court but a loving family man and father to his six children.
Before he had his first child, O'Neal had anger management issues, but the birth of his daughter in 1996 and becoming a father for the first time changed everything. In an interview with David Walters of People Magazine, O'Neal opened up about his anger issues early in his career.
"After a bad game, especially if it was my fault, missed my free throws, I'd go crazy," he says. "I'd tear the house up. I was the Hulk."
However, things began to change for the Hall of Famer when her first daughter, Taahirah, was born in 1996. Taahirah's mother is Shaq's former girlfriend, Arnetta Yardbourgh.
"As soon as I saw my children's faces, I could transform," O'Neal said. "You come home, and they don't care about any of that. Forty points? It's 'Hey, Daddy!' Two points? 'Hey, Daddy!'"
Read Shaquille O'Neal's entire interview with People Magazine here.
Shaquille O'Neal and his kids
Shaquille O'Neal has six children. His oldest is daughter Taahirah, born in 1996 to Arnetta Yardbourgh. O'Neal has five children with his ex-wife, Shaunie Anderson. They are Myles, Shareef, Shaqir, Amirah and Me'arah.
Myles was Anderson's child from a previous relationship, but O'Neal adopted him and treated him like his own son. He works as a model and DJ and sometimes works alongside his father, who goes by DJ Diesel.
Taahirah is a graduate of Oglethorpe University and is working as an executive for a Fortune 500 company. Shareef is trying to make it to the NBA, playing for the G League Ignite Team after going undrafted in the 2022 draft.
Meanwhile, Shaqir plays college basketball at Texas Southern University. Amirah is also at TSU, while Me'arah is a 16-year-old, 6-foot-4 prospect with several scholarship offers already.
Shaquille O'Neal's rules for his children
Shaquille O'Neal appeared on "The Pivot" podcast earlier this year to talk about his six children.
He explained why he favors his three daughters more than his three sons. He also said that he has a different set of rules for his sons and daughters.
"I tell my boys when y'all get 18, you all got to go," O'Neal said. "Girls can stay as long as they want. I'm dead serious. The girls can stay as long as y'all want; take your time. Go to college; get your masters; get your doctorate. I'll pay for it; take your time."