Getting a shoe deal is one of the most prominent endorsements an NBA player can get in their career. Signing with some of the big dogs like Nike, Air Jordan, Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, or Rebook is very appealing, as the money and exposure you get from the deal help you elevate to the spotlight even more. After all, getting a signature shoe is a dream for most young basketball players and a true honor.
But one problem that has continuously tracked the signature shoes of star players is the price. Having such major corporations, brands, and stars behind a shoe leaves the door open to sky-high prices without too much discussion about it. Getting a quality basketball shoe from one of these brands for a regular price has become impossible, leaving many kids that grow up in lower-class families unable to get sneakers from their idols.
Players don’t really have control of the prices but rather focus on the design and name behind it. But one guy that took the matter into his own hands regarding this problem was Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is one of the most dominant forces in the history of the NBA and a scary sight to see on the court, but outside of the game, Shaq was and still is one of the friendliest and charitable people you will ever see.
O’Neal recently made an appearance on the “FULL SEND PODCAST” and talked about the day he decided to cut a lucrative deal with Reebok, only to start his own brand focused on putting out affordable shoes for everyone:
“I had a Rebook deal (40$m, 5 years), and I’m leaving the arena one day, and this lady is ripping me:‘You motherf****s, charging these babies all this all this money for this shoes.’ So I had 2000 in my pocket, so I was like: ‘Ma’am, I don’t make the prices, here you go.’ She smacked the money out of my hand:‘Why don’t you motherf****s make a shoe that’s affordable.’ And I thought about it. I was like, you know what, she’s right. So that day, cut ties with Rebook…I told them keep the money; this ain’t right, don’t wanna make it no fight, I’ll still wear the shoes that I wear during the season, but imma be looking to do my own thing…The money you owe me, keep it. So I started the Shaq brand and went to my favorite store, Walmart, and we did a deal.Shaquille O’Neal, FULL SEND PODCAST
The Shaq Attaq and the Shaqnosis shoes are some of the most notorious basketball shoes ever made, as Shaq left a lot of money on the table because of this decision, showcasing once again how he is a man of the people. Leaving Rebook to start his own brand proved to be a great decision, as it was revealed back in 2016 that he sold over 120 million pairs of affordable shoes for kids. No matter how famous or big Shaq got globally, he never changed but instead stayed the same goofy person trying to make everyone around him laugh. Just an all-time great player and an even better human being.