The 50-year-old sports analyst addressed his brief online spat with West and how he handled it during a recent interview with People. These comments come almost a month after the musician took to Twitter to criticise O’Neal for his partnership with Jamie Slater, CEO and chairman of Authentic Brands Group.
Speaking to the publication, O’Neal said the reason why he responded to West in a short and “cool” way was because his mother, Lucille, encourages him to stay calm during a conflict.
“If I make a statement, I have the ability to travel through time and watch my mom as she watches it on TV,” he said. “So I don’t say [what I really want to say] because she’d get upset. She’d say: ‘Baby, stop it’
The former basketball player also noted that his mother’s disapproving looks and his stepfather’s, Phillip Harrison, style of discipline kept him out of trouble.
“From 9 through 17, there were a lot of frowns,” he said. “People are lucky [my mother’s] still on Earth. Because if she wasn’t here, I’d be f***ing reckless. I really would.”
Earlier this month, O’Neal first responded to West on Twitter by telling him to focus on his own career and family life. This reply came after West’s brand, Yeezy, was dropped by multiple companies due to his racist and anti-semitic comments.
“Believe me you don’t know me like that,” he wrote. “Worry about your business, and to quote the once great Kanye West, ‘I got more money than you, so why would I listen to you,’ take my advice [and] get your family business in order. Have a great day brother.”
West’s tweets about O’Neal came in response to the athlete criticising Kyrie Irving during TNT’s Inside the NBA for promoting a film on Twitter that has been widely viewed as anti-semitic. The Brooklyn Nets star later apologised for his tweets.
Believe me you don’t know me like that. Worry about your business, and to quote the once great Kanye west “ I got more money than you, so why would i listen to you” take my advice get your family business in order. Have a great day brother.
— SHAQ (@SHAQ) November 4, 2022
During his interview with People, O’Neal noted that while he didn’t get bothered by his short argument with West, he wouldn’t let their conversation go too far.
“I like to play,” he said. “But if it ever gets personal, I’m coming to see you. I don’t do the little kid games. The fact that [West] messed his whole life up — he did it. Nobody else did it. These narcissistic people, when they mess up it’s everybody else’s fault.”
He also said he understood the singer’s self-absorbed tendencies since he has them himself.
“I’m a little bit narcissistic [too],” he said. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m probably a 2; [West] is an 8 or 9. A lot of people just can’t take accountability.”
O’Neal still noted that West’s remark about his work was an issue, adding: “He threw it all away being arrogant and cocky, so now he wants to throw everybody else’s business dealings under the bus?”