Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal details his time on and off the court in a new memoir, “Shaq Uncut: My Story,” which hits shelves Tuesday.
The memoir touches on his ongoing rivalry with Lakers’ teammate Kobe Bryant, as well as other players and coaches. But the section that has everyone talking – details his marriage to Shaunie Nelson O’Neal, which ended in 2009 amid cheating allegations. Shaq admits that while he did stray countless times during their marriage, he never did it “disrespectfully.”
“At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it — I was a guy. I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that’s on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously I shouldn’t have done it all.”
Despite their messy breakup — Shaq’s attorney even sent a letter to VH1 to prevent his ex-wife from discussing their relationship on “Basketball Wives”, a reality show produced by Shaunie. Shaq admits fault for the demise for their 7-year marriage, and says he has learned a valuable lesson from their union.
Now that he’s retired, and apparently grown up, Shaq said he’s learned from his cheating ways. He writes:
“You know as well as I do relationships are about maintaining… It wasn’t the big stuff, it was the small stuff, and that’s my fault. I had things to do. I was trying to win, trying to make some money. I admit I wasn’t the best partner. I just didn’t know how. I’m learning now.”
I guess Shaq’s newfound enlightenment works out for his new love, Nikki “Hoopz” Alexander (who appeared on VH1’s “Flavor of Love” dating reality show). But will he remain faithful? Considering Shaq is still famous and will still be on scene, he’ll still have plenty of options to choose from. Then what?
According to Shaq, he was unfaithful because he had too many options to pass up – which made us think about something comedian Chris Rock said during his comedy special “Bigger and Blacker.” During the show, Rock said, “A man will be a man. A man is only as faithful as his options. That’s how faithful a man is, no more, no less. The more options he got, the more likely he is to cheat on you.”
Although Rock was making a joke, we can’t help but wonder if there is truth in his statement.
Are most men only as faithful as their options? What does that say about the future of our relationships?