Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal pledged his allegiance to the team this week during a broadcast of “Inside the NBA” on TNT. The legendary big man’s reason was fellow LSU product and “nephew” Odell Beckham Jr., whom the Giants drafted in the first round earlier this month.
“Congratulations,” said O’Neal, a 2014 College Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and a native of Newark, N.J. “I used to be a Cowboys fan. Now I’m a Giants fan.”
LSU fans love their school, but this relationship goes deeper than pride.
Beckham’s father, Odell Sr., played running back for the Tigers football team while O’Neal was there from 1989 until 1992, the year Odell Jr. was born.
"[Odell Jr. would] run around Broussard Hall (then the athletic dorm), he'd run around the track field, we'd play basketball in the dungeon (the windowless old practice court) in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center,” Odell Sr. recalled about his time at LSU in a 2013 story in The Times-Picayune. “Shaq (former LSU and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal) would lift him up and dunk. Shaq was like his uncle, and still is.”