08.09.2018 - By Oprah’s Master Class: The Podcast
At over 7 feet tall, Basketball Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O'Neal was born to play hoops, but that doesn't mean it came easy. Shaquille talks about his life and the lessons he's learned in his journey from 20-year-old draft pick to seasoned statesman of the game and iconic star. He explains that even though he was always a big guy (6'9" by age 14), he wasn't always the natural athlete everyone expected him to be. Shaquille made a lot of mistakes along the way and had to learn how to focus and work extremely hard to become a dominant force on the court. As a Los Angeles Laker, Shaquille's legendary partnership with Kobe Bryant helped bring the team to four NBA Finals in five years. Shaquille leaned on his loving mother and disciplined stepfather, who shaped and guided him every step of the way. Shaquille opens up about the depth of his mother's love and devotion, calling her his "best friend." He says the discipline instilled by his Army sergeant stepfather, Phillip Arthur Harrison (the man he considers to be his father), was key. Through Phillip's tough lessons, Shaquille learned how to be a leader and never be satisfied with the achievements he already had.