As a youngster, Shaq would get into fights and break into cars and houses. In return, his father would smack him around.
“The truth is, my dad spent a lot of time beating me… I was really scared of my father. He beat me all the time, but I would never call any of those whuppings unjustifiable. I deserved it. He did it to keep me in line. I swear, if he hadn’t I’d probably be in jail right now — or worse,” Shaq wrote in his autobiography “Shaq Uncut: My Story.”
Shaq is talking about his step-father, Phillip Harrison, aka Sarge. His biological father is Joseph Toney, who was barely part of his life. He tried to get Shaq’s attention after Shaq became famous by going on “The Ricki Lake Show,” which didn’t endear him to his son.
Shaq claimed he stopped getting into fights around the age of 10, where he beat another student so severely that the kid had a seizure. “For a long time afterward when I turned out the light, all I could see was his face with his eyes rolling back in his head,” he wrote.
He did not stop getting into fights. More on that later.