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  /  EBONY Exclusive   /  Shaquille O’Neal: I Wanted My Kids to Be Engineers, Not Athletes

Shaquille O’Neal: I Wanted My Kids to Be Engineers, Not Athletes

Former NBA MVP and current TNT personality Shaquille O’Neal chopped it up with EBONY on the NBA Awards red carpet, where the former Laker discussed his transition from baller to broadcaster as well as his son’s decision to follow in is size 22 footsteps.

When it comes to his current gig at Turner, O’Neal says he wanted to bring a bit more humor to the network.

“I’m just trying to have fun, just trying to make people laugh. The Shaq brand is all about bringing fun.”

When it comes to son Shareef choosing to pursue ball, O’Neal is proud that he never had to use his status to vouch for him, saying his son has earned his position, even if it isn’t originally what the center wanted for him.

“I always told my kids, ‘I don’t want you to play basketball. I need engineers, I need lawyers, I need CEOs, I need entrepreneurs, that’s what we need.’ He disobeyed me, played it and made a name for himself his own way.”

Check out the full clip above.

Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.