What Happened to Shaq's Family That Led Him to Warn Jason Kelce?

"So enjoy your beautiful wife, enjoy your beautiful kids, and never dwell on what we had," Shaq told Jason.

Melissa Willets - Author

Feb. 20 2024, Published 11:19 a.m. ET

Shaunie and Shaquille O'Neal's family
Source: Getty Images

Shaunie and Shaquille O'Neal's family in 2019

NBA legend and mega-personality Shaquille O'Neal has a seemingly charmed life.

His name is synonymous with success at the highest levels in sports and entertainment — and he counts six kids among his brood, as well as a huge fortune.

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However, in February 2024, Shaq shared that he'd sacrificed his family for his career. Indeed, the larger-than-life star divorced his wife Shaunie in 2011, an event he hasn't recovered from judging by his comments.

The celebrity endorser extraordinaire went on to warn fellow professional athlete Jason Kelce to put family first before it's too late.

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So, what exactly happened to Shaq's family?

Amid rumors of Jason's retirement from his longtime position with the Philadelphia Eagles, Jason spoke with Shaq on The Big Podcast with Shaq.

During their conversation, the former NBA star admitted he has made some big mistakes when it comes to his family.

"My advice to you is that if you are going to retire, accept it," Shaq said in the course of their conversation. "Enjoy your family, brother. I made a lot of dumba-- mistakes to where I lost my family and I didn't have anybody."

"That's not the case for you," Shaq also advised the younger athlete. "So enjoy your beautiful wife, enjoy your beautiful kids, and never dwell on what we had."

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As many fans know, Jason has been married to his wife Kylie since 2018 and they have three kids together: daughters Wyatt, Elliotte, and Bennett.

Meanwhile, Shaq was wed to Shaunie for nine years. He has six children: Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah. Myles is Shaunie's son from a previous relationship. Taahirah is his daughter with his former girlfriend, Arnetta Yardbourgh

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Shaq is on good terms with his ex-wife despite being unfaithful.

The basketball player turned actor has intimated that he cheated on Shaunie while they were together. He clearly regrets his past actions, telling Jason he lives all alone now in a giant house. However, given time to reflect, it's also evident that he takes responsibility for what he did to lead to the dissolution of his family.

Today, he is on good terms with his ex, and aims to teach his kids to do better than he did.

He told Essence in 2023, “I tell my sons all the time, a man has three jobs when it comes to a woman: protect, provide, and love. Some men can only offer two for whatever reason, but I’m going to teach you how to offer all three.”

Shaq also said about his ex, who remarried in 2022, “Even though I don’t have a relationship with the women I let get away, I will always PPL: protect, provide, and love. Whatever they need, they can get it from me. Shaunie’s married. I’m happy for her. I hope this gentleman treats her the way she’s supposed to be treated. I’m a still love her. She’s still my wife. I’ll always protect, provide, and love for her married or not.”

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