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“Put my shoes next to the Jordans, I like to give people options”: Shaquille O’Neal talks about sneakers, buying Reebok and more on Sneaker Shopping with Complex

Arun Sharma

"Put my shoes next to the Jordans, I like to give people options": Shaquille O'Neal talks about sneakers, buying Reebok and more on Sneaker Shopping with Complex

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.

Shaq could have been like Kobe or LeBron with Nike, but he chose to change the lives of many young kids.

Also Read: “If I ever go broke I’m going to sell them”: Giannis Antetokounmpo has a rare basketball card that he plans to sell in case of bankruptcy

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.

Also Read: “Michael Jordan really tried to put Hakeem Olajuwon on a poster!”: How the Rockets legend blocked the ‘GOAT’ on a monster dunk attempt

About the author

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma


Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

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