On the first day of the Atlanta Olympics, it was announced that Shaquille O’Neal is leaving Orlando and will join the Los Angeles Lakers on a seven-year, $121 million contract. Everyone concluded Shaq left for the money, and he responded in a classic Shaq way.
“I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.”Shaquille O’Neal
That’s right, Reebok. There was a time when major free agency moves didn’t happen 60 seconds after the deadline, were not brought to us by Shams or Woj, and not everyone signed with Nike or Jordan. (OK, Under Armor and Adidas too.) For a while there, Reebok was a legit competitor, and getting Shaq was major for them.
The people at Reebok knew they needed to make a splash. Nike and Jordan were still the most dominant force in basketball apparel, so getting Shaq wasn’t enough. How about a commercial with the best big men in the history of the game?
If I were making my top 10 list of players I’d like to have dinner with, Russell, Wilt, Kareem, and Walton would all make my list. This is as close to Ocean’s 11 in basketball terms as it gets. Being on that set must’ve been mind-blowing, right? Here’s a video of just that.
The shoe in question was Shaq’s first signature sneaker with the Reebok brand: the OG Shaq Attaq Pump. There’s a belief in the sneaker industry that big guys don’t sell shoes. Shaq proved it wrong as the Shaq Attaq was quite successful. A few days ago, it was announced Adidas is selling Reebok, and Baron Davis is a potential investor.
A remake of this legendary commercial would be an amazing start for Reebok’s new story.