A high profile divorce can haunt you for a lifetime, especially if you are as famous as NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Things get even more complicated when your teenage sons try to follow your athletic footsteps and your ex-wife isn’t too happy about it.
TMZ has been covering a war of words between Shaquille O’Neal and his ex-wife, Shaunie. Shaq has been very vocal about encouraging his sons Shareef, 16, and Shaqir, 13 to find their way into the NBA. Meanwhile, Shaq’s enthusiasm about the future isn’t being echoed by the boys’ mom.
In a separate interview with TMZ, Shaunie says that speaking about her children and their future in the NBA puts too much pressure on the teenagers. Shaq admitted that he saw his ex-wife’s interview. He said that “moms are more sensitive.”
However, he stood firm with his prediction that the NBA is in their sons’ future. “I see it because at that age, he’s doing way more than I was doing,” he said about Shareef.
Shaunie shared that her children love to play basketball, and she walked in on them discussing their father’s comments. However, she maintains that both she and her ex-husband do not pressure them to play. She is particularly worried about 13-year-old Shaqir, who she says should just think about acting like a teenager.
Meanwhile, regardless of what his mom says, Shareef is already showing signs of becoming a basketball superstar. The 6’9” teenager is already being courted by several colleges across the United States. He has not made a decision on which school could potentially be his stepping stone into the NBA.
Shaq and Shaunie O’Neal divorced in 2007 after five years of marriage. They have four children born out of the union. Apart from Shareef and Shaqir, they also have two girls named Amirah and Me’Arah. They also each have a child from previous relationships.