Shaquille O’Neal checked in with the “Full Send” podcast this week and discussed how his conscience made him pass up a $40 million deal with Reebok. The four-time NBA champion recalled parting ways with the athletic apparel brand which he repped while he played in the NBA. Shaq stated how “a lady ripped me a new a–hole while leaving the arena one day.” O’Neal said the woman called him a “motherf–ker” for charging young kids exuberant prices for shoes.
“I had $2,000 in my pocket. I said, ‘Lady I don’t make the prices. Here you go, and she smacked the money out of my hand, [and said], ‘Why don’t you motherf—–s make a shoe that’s affordable?,’” explained O’Neal.
At the moment, he realized he agreed with the woman and decided to turn down his $40 million, 5-year deal with Reebok.
“That day, I cut ties with Reebok. I said keep the money… this ain’t right. I’ll still wear the shoes I do during the season, but I’ll be looking to do my own thing. So, I started the Shaq brand. I went to my favorite store, Walmart, and we did a deal. I was in all stores and my price point for the shoes was $29-$19 and since then we sold over 400 million pairs,” Shaq continued.
Shaq also stated that he brought on designers from Reebok to join him in the new Walmart venture. “It’s not kids that don’t want to wear $20 shoes, they don’t want to wear shoes that look like they cost $20,” he further added.
Michael Jordan has been criticized for years for placing his Jordan sneakers at high price points that led to many kids getting killed behind the shoes over the years. Take a listen below as Shaq explains why he couldn’t take advantage of the kids looking up to him.