Why Did NBA Legend Shaquille O'Neal Decline Reebok's $40 Million Deal?

By: Anannya Mitra Image credit: NBA and X

A few years ago, Shaquille O'Neal was all set to finalize a $40 million shoe contract with Reebok and admitted it to have been his “best business story ”.

However, an eye-opening incident happened to Shaq, which flipped his heart and he rejected the deal. He was furious at Reebok for not doing enough to lower the prices of his sneakers for kids from low-income households.

Once, an old lady cussed at him because he was charging sneakers to kids at high prices. Shaq defended himself, saying he didn't decide the costs and it was the brand who did.

When Shaq wanted to hand over the money he had in his pockets, she “smacked it out of his hands” and asked why they couldn't produce shoes for poor kids. This made Shaq wonder and he set out to do the right thing.

He went to Walmart, and negotiated a deal with them. Shaq was adamant to establish his own shoe line, Shaq Brand. He had set his mind on pricing the shoes in the range of $19-$29. 

Over the years, his shoe line saw a huge sale on his designed sneakers. They were said to have sold over 400 million pairs of shoes in a single year. Shaq was ecstatic to have brought joy to his little fans. 

In 1992, Shaq signed another multi year deal with Reebok, launching Reebok Shaq Attaq and Shaqnosis shoes. O'Neal has also had shares of other brands like Forever 21, JCPenney and also Reebok.

More Stories


“Steph About to Set Records” – Stephen Curry’s Effortless Look-Away Three From Chris Paul’s Assist Has Dub Nation Speechless