“‘You spoiled brat, you got a big house, you got cars, you fly private’” - Shaquille O'Neal says his father gave him a dressing down after hearing him complain about too much pressure

Shaquille O'Neal walks on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 24, 2021, in Austin, Texas.
Shaquille O'Neal walks on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 24, 2021, in Austin, Texas.

Shaquille O'Neal has always been open about the discipline his father instilled in him growing up. The Hall of Famer has attributed much of his success in the NBA to his father's guidance.

He has, on various occasions, shared stories of how his father got him in the right frame of mind for games. He has also spoken about how his father taught him to work hard and become the best version of himself.

On a recent episode of the "Big Podcast," Shaquille O'Neal shared a story of how his father taught him to be grateful and humble. O'Neal revealed that he had complained about being under pressure during a game in New York, following which his father taught him what real pressure was.

His father took him to care for a homeless family and said "pressure is not knowing where the next meal is coming from."

"My father one day after a game I went home and I said, hey man, I couldn't handle the pressure in New York. He was upset, takes me in the car early next morning and we watch a homeless family. Family that he used to take care of, he said 'I don't ever want to hear you say you can't handle the pressure again. You spoiled MF brat, you got a big house, you got cars, you fly private, I don't want to hear that.'
"'Pressure is when you don't know where your next meal is coming from'. After that, I stopped complaining, because I got it good and he said push through it. Then he made me get out. So I had to get out, got the family apartment, got them on their feet, made a few phone calls and got you know had a job just got him on the feet, but that stuck with me."
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Shaquille O'Neal attributes his financial success to his stepfather

Shaquille O'Neal speaks onstage during the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019, in Santa Monica, California
Shaquille O'Neal speaks onstage during the 2019 NBA Awards presented by Kia on TNT at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019, in Santa Monica, California

With a net worth of about $400 million, Shaquille O'Neal is one of the wealthiest athletes in the world, alongside LeBron James and Michael Jordan. He attributes his steadfastness regarding finances to his stepfather, Phillip Harrison.

Phillip Harrison was a father figure to O'Neal since he was two years old. The former Army Sergeant inculcated important traits, including discipline and prudence, into the four-time NBA champion.

In a CNBC interview, the former LA Lakers center recalled his experiences with his stepfather.

“Every time an athlete would do something crazy, I would get in trouble for it," O'Neal said. "So my father did a very great job using scare tactics.
“A lot of athletes, when they’re done playing, they have no income. And they go broke. And I never wanted to be like that. So even when I was making a lot of money playing basketball, I would come home and see my father, and [he’d] be like, ‘Yeah, but what are you doing with your money?’”

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Edited by Chad Marriott