Sneaker Shopping with Complex just got their biggest icon yet – Both Literally and figuratively – in Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaquille O’Neal is a global icon – there is nothing he is not associated with. They’ve had Kyrie Irving and PJ Tucker to name a couple, but they do not hold a candle to the Lakers big man. Shaq is not a self-proclaimed sneakerhead like the others – he cares nothing about collecting shoes.
He just wants to make money, support his neighborhood and overall be a good guy. Shaq Diesel in the brief interview speaks about how he signed with Reebok first, and why he wasn’t a Nike athlete. He also spoke about how he got to “meet” President Obama and had many fun stories to tell.
A super humble guy, Shaq knows what struggle means to an average person. The story about a woman putting it in his head that kids do not have the money to spend on something as expendable as sneakers is heartwarming. After his contract expired with Reebok, he went on to make his own pair of shoes for affordable prices.
Sneaker shopping episode with Complex has had NBA athletes on it before – Never like Shaquille O’Neal though
Sneaker shopping usually has flash, pizzazz and the hype surrounding the fashion apparel. Shaquille O’Neal right now, is none of that. A mellow, sweater wearing guy who likes slip ons, Shaq is the exact opposite of every athlete who’s been on the show.
But superstars like Shaq Diesel are needed: they make the sneaker market into what it is right now. For a “hypebeast” any shoe that is not a Jordan, Yeezy, Fear of God or Off-White is not worth looking at twice. They’d probably wince at the Lakers legend’s 29 dollar pair of shoes. But those are the same shoes that have sold more than 600 million pairs.
After his NBA career, Shaquille really went completing side quests like a video game character after he finished 100% of the game. He became a policeman, a business tycoon, fast food chain owner, and a multi degree holder. For someone who knew what struggle meant, he did not let success get to his head.