Shaquille O’Neal is one of the richest, most popular athletes ever. He also has a heart of gold, which all of us can see through his deeds.
O’Neal was born to a single mother Lucille in Queens, New York. Lucille did her best to make ends meet and Shaq got whatever he needed, but he still grew up seeing his mother do her level best to keep their finances going.
This experience of living in relative poverty has helped Shaq stay grounded and humble as a human being. And when he grew talented, rich and famous, he still stuck to his roots and gave back to the community.
Shaq continues to give back to the community wherever, whenever he gets such an opportunity. It is exemplified quite well by his Shaqsgiving, Shaq-a-Claus drives to feed the needy during the festive season.
Shaquille O’Neal explains why the Shaq shoe line by Walmart was priced affordably
But perhaps the best example of how magnanimous Shaq has been comes from the story of how he dropped Reebok as his shoe brand and released his own shoe.
Shaquille O’Neal was on the Nelk Boys podcast recently. He talked about a whole host of topics related to his life. One answer that stuck out particularly in this interview was related to his shoe deal with Walmart and why he cut ties with Reebok:
“I had a Reebok deal – $40 (million) for 5 years. And I’m leaving the arena one day and this lady, she’s ripping into that! ‘Y’all motherfuc**rs charging all these babies all this money for your shoes!'”
“So I had like $2000 in my pocket and I was like ‘Ma’am, I don’t make the prices, here you go.’ And she smacked the money in my hands. ‘Why don’t you motherfuc**rs make a shoe that’s affordable!'”
“And I thought about it, and I was like ‘You know what? She’s right.’ So that day, I cut ties with Reebok, started my own brand. I told them to keep the money, this ain’t right. I’ll still wear the shoes that I wear during the season but Imma be looking to do my own thing.”
“So I started the Shaq brand, and I went to my favorite store Walmart, and we did a deal.”