Shareef O’Neal just did what many NBA players tried — and failed — to do for almost 20 years. He put his dad on a poster.
The teenage son of Shaquille O’Neal made waves this week when he posted a video of himself dunking right in the face of his 7-foot-1 father. The video quickly went viral, garnering coverage from ESPN and Deadspin.
The video showed Shaq giving some lessons to his high school sophomore son on how to finish strong at the hoop through contact. Shareef took a pass from a teammate at the foul line and then threw down a dunk on his dad, who was bracing for the contact.
The video shows two dunks on Shaq, and though the NBA Hall of Famer wasn’t really trying to prevent it, a dunk on Shaq is something that’s rarely ever seen.
My dad teaching me how to dunk through contact .. pic.twitter.com/xYVxhCkBEe— Shareef O'Neal (@cynreef) July 13, 2016
For those who don’t remember Shaq’s dominance, the video was a pretty big deal. Though Shaq was known for his offensive dominance, his nimble footwork in the low post and his overpowering moves near the basket, he was also a very strong defensive player — one who hated when opponents got the better of him.
As ESPN noted, Shaq was particularly averse to being dunked on. Luckily for Shaq, it never happened — almost never.
“Shaquille O’Neal said during an episode of ‘NBA Open Court’ that only one person dunked on him during his NBA career — Derrick Coleman. ‘After that, I told myself I am not getting dunked on anymore.’”
“In a total dad move, he broke that rule for his son Shareef O’Neal.”
Shareef O’Neal has been getting attention for a few years now, which isn’t too hard when you’re already 6-foot-8 as a high school freshman and the son of an NBA legend. As USA Today Sports noted last year, Shareef O’Neal is already developing an all-around game that extends the range beyond where his famous dad used to prowl in the NBA.
“Now we’re starting to see some of the younger O’Neal’s broader skill set. As he showcased at the 2015 Big Cup tournament in Houston, Shareef O’Neal already has far more shooting touch and range than his father ever did. And while he may not be able to bowl opponents over in the paint like his Dad, he has better finesse inside.”
“Keep in mind, this is all being turned in by a freshman member of the California Supreme AAU squad, who had his famous father in the stands for the tournament. You never want to project success for a young athlete, but no one should be doubting Shareef O’Neal at this point … and we don’t even know how big he’s going to grow.”
If he can follow in his dad’s footsteps, Shareef O’Neal could one day play in an NBA filled with second-generation stars. The reigning two-time NBA MVP, Stephen Curry, is the son of guard Dell Curry and grew up hanging out in NBA locker rooms and taking shots with his famous dad.
Dell Curry was known as a pretty accurate shooter — hitting 40 percent of three-pointers in his career — and won Sixth Man of the Year in the 1993-94 season. He clearly passed on the traits to his son, who set the NBA record this year for three-pointers in a season.
There are plenty of other famous NBA sons beyond Stephen Curry, including his own teammate, Klay Thompson. Kevin Love and Kobe Bryant also had dads who played in the NBA.
If Shareef O’Neal is going to follow his famous dad to the NBA, he’s still got a few years to wait. Shareef will be a high school junior next year, though he’s already got a number of offers from big schools including his dad’s alma mater, LSU.
[Image via Twitter/Shareef O’Neal]