Pressing pause! Shaquille O’Neal exclusively told Us Weekly why he wants his daughters to wait to date.
“I want them to be fully educated or … fully independent,” the former professional basketball player, 48, explained on Thursday, October, 8, while promoting his American Express partnership. “I want them to have most of those goals and once they get 18 on and they become little mini adults, I’m not going to be the dad that says, ‘Do this, do that.’ [I’ll] guide them in the right path.”
The athlete added, “In the perfect world, I’d like them to have a bachelors and masters and [be] going into their own field.”
When asked if he wanted them to date NBA players, O’Neal told Us, “Probably not.”
Ultimately, the New Jersey native wants Taahirah, 24, Amirah, 18, and Me’arah, 14, to “own their own company” and to not “need anybody.”
In January, the sports analyst exclusively told Us that he didn’t want his daughters dating “until they’re 25.”
O’Neal explained, “I don’t really have a lot of rules. … The moms do a great job of yelling and raising them and doing all that stuff. I’m more of the guy that’s the settler. If my ex-wife tells my daughter, ‘You can’t have a boyfriend now,’ I would be the one to say, ‘Guys are crazy. Do this. You need to focus on your education. Learn a little bit about yourself before you start thinking about guys. I’m more like the buffer.’”
The Shaquille’s owner shares his daughters with ex-girlfriend Arnetta Yardbourgh and ex-wife Shaunie Nelson, as well as sons Shareef, 20, and Shaqir, 17, with Nelson, 45.
O’Neal has been enjoying quarantine with his sons amid the coronavirus pandemic, from playing basketball to watching TikToks. “Just relaxing, working out,” he told Us on Thursday. “They’re just trying to stay fit.”
On Tuesday, October 20, the Olympian will be taking part in American Express’ virtual “Business Class Live: Summit for Success” experience. “[I’m] always just telling stories and hoping my stories are inspiring,” O’Neal said. “Hopefully, people can learn from the mistakes that I’ve made and learn from what I’m doing.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi