Shaquille O’Neal hopes his sons will learn from his mistakes when it comes to matters of the heart.
Shaq is one of the most famous figures in the NBA world, whether for his time on or off the court. However, as magnanimous as his public image is, he’s always shown himself to be a humbled and principled human being above all. Moreover, this seems to especially be the case with his previous romantic relationships, which he believes he fumbled. During a conversation with Monica on Mo Talk Radio, Shaq spoke on how he teaches his sons to avoid such mistakes when it comes to their personal lives. Overall, it was quite the emotive and sweet sentiment, despite the difficulty and animosity that can arise when a partnership comes to a close.
“I had two perfect women and I messed it up,” Shaq expressed. “My first one was my baby mother, Arnetta [Yardbourgh], and then I met Shaunie [Nelson]. Shaunie was also a perfect woman and I messed it up. Yeah, you know, we were young and always just doing d*mb stuff. But, you know, the good thing about our relationship is that they forgave me and we have a good relationship now. But when you ask me about the perfect woman, I had two perfect women and I messed it up. Just by, you know, being d*mb.
“I tell my sons all the time: ‘A man has three jobs when it comes to a woman. Protect, provide, and love,” Shaq continued. “Some men can only offer two, for whatever reason, but I’ma teach you how to offer all three.’ And that’s what I try to do. Even though I don’t have a relationship with the women that I let get away, I will always PPL: protect, provide, and love.
“Whatever they need, they get it from me,” he concluded. “Shaunie’s married, I’m happy for her. I hope this gentleman treats her the way she’s supposed to be treated, and I’ma still love her. She’s still my wife, I will always protect, provide, and love for her, married or not. No, it’s just how I was raised. You protect, you provide, and you love your woman.”