Well past the age where he thought he could do no wrong, an older and wiser Shaquille O’Neal is accepting responsibility for his mistakes.
In a remarkably candid interview on the The Pivot Podcast this week, O’Neal revealed his deepest regrets, namely his troubled relationships with his ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal and former teammates Kobe Bryant and Penny Hardaway.
“I had the perfect situation,” he said. “Wife was finer than a mug. Kept giving me babies, still finer than a mug — I had it all.”
“I don’t make excuses. I know I messed up.”
Shaq also opened up about the extreme loneliness he felt when his wife and kids packed up and left.
“I don’t like to use the D (depressed) word but I feel it. I was lost. 76,000 square foot home alone. I go to the gym and their rooms, no one was there.”
The other egrets continuing to swirl around in O’Neal’s mind are the strained relationships he had with former teammates Kobe Bryant and Penny Hardaway.
“Just because things you do make it seem like you’re perfect, you’re not perfect,” he said. “Big mistake in the Penny relationship. Big mistake in the Kobe relationship.
“I was arrogant, I was dumb, but sometimes when you do a lot of stuff, you don’t wanna work at stuff. Those the only three major regrets that I have.”
You can watch Shaq’s full interview here.