Shaquille O'Neal recalled a valuable lesson he learned from his stepfather, Philip Harrison, during his rookie year in the NBA.
In an appearance on the "Impaulsive" podcast, Shaq revealed that his father gave him a life lesson after the former cited pressure as the reason behind his poor performance against the New York Knicks one night. Shaq said:
"Rookie year, we're playing in New York Knicks and I had a terrible game. I get a call on my phone, from my father. He says, 'Get your a** home right now. Be here tomorrow at 0500 hours. If you don't, I'm gonna knock your a** out.'
"So I get there he's already dressed and we get in the car and we ride. I was like, 'Well, what?' 'Shut the hell up.' We just riding so I come across this homeless family that he always takes care of. He gives him money, give him clothes, whatever."
"He said, 'What happened at the game?' It's the same man'. I don't know. Let the pressure get to me.' He was pissed. 'You spoiled motherf**ker for making all this money. You talking about pressure, and this is pressure when you don't know your next meal is coming from.'"
(Watch from 16:08 to 17:02)
Shaquille O'Neal said he took that lesson to heart and never used "pressure" as a reason behind his struggles again.
Shaquille O'Neal's parenting style is completely opposite to his father's
Shaquille O'Neal's stepfather ensured the four-time NBA champion got a good upbringing. Growing up, the former LA Lakers superstar was mischievous and needed someone to guide him to get disciplined. His father's lessons played a crucial role in that aspect, helping O'Neal become the man he is today.
It's fair to say that O'Neal's father had to adapt to strict parenting methods for the former's upbringing. However, speaking about his parenting style, Shaq said:
"I always tell my kids just go play. Have fun. If you make it, cool. If you don't, I understand. But you must have an education because respectable nepotism is the way we can go."
Shaquille O'Neal has always been supportive of his children. He has made sure to provide them with the resources they need to become well educated and excel in their fields.