Shareef O’Neal responds to Robert Horry Summer League criticism

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Shareef O’Neal did not back down from criticism by former Lakers forward Robert Horry — after the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal did not make the Lakers roster out of summer league.

Shareef hit back at Horry in a tweet on Wednesday, after Horry questioned on his “Big Shot Bob” podcast, if Shareef “has that dog in him” to play at an NBA level.

“I know this outta love and no disrespect!!! I got you BIG SHOT but you know who raised me, I don’t quit,” Shareef tweeted. “Always been taught to go get it and take it. Been heading in the right step …like I said I got you! You’ll see.”

During the July 28 episode of his podcast, Horry said he almost called Shaq to discuss Shareef. Horry and O’Neal were Lakers teammates for six seasons from 1997-2003.

“I picked up my phone, and I was getting ready to call Shaq like, ‘Yo man, you gotta tell your son … he can’t be playing off the damn O’Neal name,’” Horry said. “He gotta go out there and play.’ You gotta put forth some more effort man. You know Shareef’s such a nice kid, that I don’t know if he has that dog in him to go out there and take what he wants.”

Shareef O’Neal during the 2022 NBA Summer League
Getty Images

Shareef played for the Lakers during this year’s NBA Summer League, but did not end up making the team. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game over six total Summer League appearances. O’Neal signed a reported six-figure contract to play with the G League Ignite for next season.

After a pre-NBA Draft workout at the Lakers facility in June, Shareef told reporters that he and his father “kind of bump heads” about him pursuing a pro career.

O’Neal — whose No. 34 Lakers jersey was retired by the team in 2013 — preferred his 22-year-old son stay in school, but Shareef insisted he is ready for an NBA push.

Shareef had a much different path to start his pro career than his Hall-of-Fame father. He attended UCLA from 2018 to 2020, but missed an entire season as a medical redshirt due to a heart condition. He underwent open-heart surgery during his freshman year (Dec. 2018) with the Bruins.

Shaquille O'Neal (left) and Robert Horry during their time together with the Lakers.
Shaquille O’Neal (left) and Robert Horry during their time together with the Lakers.
AFP via Getty Images

Shareef, like his father, attended LSU, where O’Neal was dominant during his college days. He transferred to his dad’s alma mater in 2020.  

Shareef played a total 37 games over three seasons with UCLA and LSU due to health issues — and averaged 11 minutes, three rebounds and 2.6 points per game. He was sidelined with foot and ankle injuries in his two seasons at LSU.

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