Shaquille O Nealalways admits to growing up in the worst living conditions. He revealed his family was never always wealthy. But he grew to become one of the most successful centers in the NBA. After retirement, Shaq went on to become a businessman. Now he is worth over $400 million with ownership over fifty companies across the United States and various other endorsements. However, Shaq s biological father had no part in his upbringing.
Shaquille O Neal talks about how his father influenced his view on education #WSJWhatsNow pic.twitter.com/GiSfyFj1jm
The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 27, 2020
Joseph Toney was sent to prison when Shaq was an infant. The formerNBAChampion was raised by his step-father, Phillip Harrison, a stern man who instilled all of Shaq s good qualities in him. According to the Basketball Network, Harrison did not allow Toney to have anything to do with young O Neal and agreed on it. Harrison said,When he came back from prison, I saw him in the park, and we agreed that because he already had another child, I would be Shaquille s dad and take care of him.
Toney had no idea of his son s whereabouts. Joseph only heard about Shaq via Harrison which eventually stopped after the latter was stationed in Germany. However, on hearing Shaquille O Neal s name on television, Toney recognized that it was his son in the college basketball game. As much as Toney tried to contact Shaq, Harrison wouldn t allow it at all.He was really mad, told me to stay away,Joseph Toney said. It wasn t until Philp passed away that Shaq and Toney were able to connect.
Shaquille O Neal holds no grudge against his biological father Joseph Toney
Shaquille O Neal spoke about meeting his biological father on thePivot Podcast. The idea of meeting Toney never crossed his mind until his mother spoke to him about it. In 2013, Phillip Harrison passed away and Shaq described it as one of the toughest times he had to live through. However, it was after Harrison s death that his mother told him to contact Toney.
TheLos Angeles Lakerslegend revealed that Toney tried to communicate with him when he was 18. But Shaq never wanted to because he was upset at his father for obvious reasons. He also revealed,I don t hold a grudge because my life went the way it was supposed to go.O Neal gave props to his biological father for more or less teaching him who he needed to be.
I live a really good life from a guy who s not even my biological father. He made me who I am today so I have to respect that, I have to understand that, and I don t dwell on anything else,he said. However, Harrison was a big role model in his life. Harrison taught Shaq how to be responsible and how to live life valuing every second of it.