NBA Free Agent Rumors: Shaquille O’Neal Should Just Retire

July 17th, 2010 by Tyler Conway Leave a reply »
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal's journey to NBA superstardom began on March 6, 1972 in a Newark, New Jersey hospital.  Son of Lucille O'Neal and Joseph Toney, Shaq's early years projected a future of anything but a future NBA superstar. 

Abandoned by Shaquille's drug-addicted father, Lucille O'Neal quickly adapted herself to the situation by taking on multiple jobs to support her family.  However, regardless of her struggles, Lucille always kept raising her children as priority No. 1—warning Shaquille of the dangers of street life and keeping a strict household if he stepped out of line. 

When Lucille met Phillip "Sarge" Harrison, a U.S. Army Sergeant and Shaq's adoptive father, the reins on Shaquille pulled tighter.

Perhaps the fear of disappointing Sarge or his mother kept Shaq from the undoubted allure of the Newark street game.  Or perhaps it was Newark's chapter of the Boys and Girls Club of America, as O'Neal told Parade Magazine in a 2006 interview:

"It gave me something to do,” he says. “I’d just go there to shoot. I didn’t even play on a team. It always gave me somewhere to ...

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