NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal has played for six franchises during his legendary NBA career that spanned 20 years.The Los Angeles Lakers legend has been one of the most successful basketball players ever to play the game. He broke several records and earned numerous accolades cementing himself as one of the game’s legends. More than a decade have passed since his retirement. He is enjoying his time off the court but still involved with the sport. He is a part of the panel on ‘Inside the NBA.’ Shaq recently recalled a horrific incident that made him realize that he needed to change his ways.
Shaquille O’ Neal opens up on the incident
The former basketball player shared a story of how he narrowly avoided a drunk driving incident that would have claimed his life. In an interview with Esquire, Shaq recalled the gratitude he felt for the tough love he received from his father though it may be considered more extreme by today’s standards.
“Well, I don’t like to throw that word around,” Shaq explained when a reporter asked him if he considered his father’s treatment abuse. “There are different levels of that. But based on the rules and criteria, the letter of the law as it states today, it would definitely fall under that.”
“But how he did it—it was needed,” he said. “I appreciate it. Made me who I am today. Because I was definitely a follower. His thing was, ‘I’mma teach you how to be a leader.’ It just taught me how to have critical thinking.”
“Friend of mine was drinking. Snowstorm. Wanted me to ride with him. So my thought process, I go: If I get in the car and start drinking with the boys and my dad find out, I’m a dead man. ‘No, man, I’m cool.’ Right? 13 years old. And you know what happens after that right? They die. Everybody in the car, dead. Ran into a pole,” he recalled.
Shaq claimed that he always says “don’t drink beer” to this day due to the traumatic incident.