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As Shareef O’Neal looks to follow in his father’s footsteps as an NBA prospect, the projected first-rounder spoke with the media on Wednesday about the disagreement he had with his dad over attending a workout with the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We kind of bump heads about this process,” he said while addressing the media. “He wanted me to stay in school. I wanted to better myself through this.”
“He knows I’m working out with teams. But I’m not going to lie, we ain’t talked about this. I’m kind of just going through it. He didn’t do any pre-draft workouts; he just got straight on the [Orlando Magic], so it’s a different grind,” Shareef added. “So, he didn’t want me to do this, and I know he probably doesn’t want me saying this, but sorry. We’re both grown, we’ll get past it.”
“[My dad] didn’t like that idea at all. It sucks that he didn’t like that idea, but I’m a grown man, I’m 22 years old, I can make my own decision,” he continued. “It was right in front of my face. I’m not backing up from it. I’m going to go get it if I see it. That’s just how I’m built. I take everything the same way. I took my heart surgery the same way. Being cleared was right in front of me, being healthy was right in front of me, and I went for it. I’m not backing down from nobody.”
“I know he’s an NBA legend, I know he’s my dad, but it was right in front of me, I had to go get it. So, if he likes it or not, it’s not really going to stop me from doing what I want to do.”