Shaq was, at one time, one of the most unstoppable forces on the NBA court. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest players in history for his skills on the court and his 4 championships. When he retired, the baller entered the next phase of his life and became a dominant businessman. He’s a sports commentator, restauranteur, the face of Papa John’s, an investor, and has way more business dealings than we could count on two hands. Perhaps his most infamous deal was his decision to take a Walmart sneaker deal after being in business with Reebok.
Many couldn’t believe Shaq’s decision when it first happened–but fast forward to 2020 and he’s sold over 80 million sneakers between his “Shaq” and “Dunkman” labels in just over 15 years. In a recent Instagram live, Shaq opened up about his decision to put an affordable shoe in Walmart as opposed to a name brand sneaker deal with the product in retailers with a $100 to $200 price tag, which he had been doing with Reebok.
Shaq gives credit to his father, who always told him basketball wouldn’t last forever and 70% of players don’t have anything after the game. The other surprising factor Shaq reveals was an instance when he was leaving the Orlando arena and a single mother was cussing him out at the top of her lungs. The reason? The price of his shoes, because her kids wanted them but they were simply too expensive. Shaq tried to defuse the situation by trying to hand her $2000, which she smacked out his hand. After the incident, it hit Shaq that she was right and he needed to make an affordable shoe, so he dropped his Reebok deal and the rest was history.
You can watch Shaq tell this story and more about his historic choice down below.