Shaquille O’Neal Explains Why He Rejected Nike Shoe Endorsement Deal

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Shaquille O’Neal undoubtedly had one of the most successful basketball careers in NBA history. Throughout his time in the league, O’Neal was considered and still is arguably one of the greatest centers of all time.

His successes in the sport have caught the attention of many players in the industry and even the many brands vying for the endorsements of the basketball player. Among those who reached out to O’Neal was sneaker giant, Nike. However, when O’Neal was drafted, he declined Nike’s offer and signed a deal with Reebok instead.

In a recent interview, O’Neal revealed why he rejected Nike’s lucrative deal,

“When I got drafted, they gave me the opportunity to have my own shoe – Reebok. Nike was interested, but they didn’t want me to have my own shoe.”

He went on to explain that at the time, he wasn’t “interested in being another guy on the shelf. I wanted to have my own line, my own shoe. I wanted to go out with a bang. You know , my motto was to make people remember my name. And instead of proving myself first, I wanted my name to be known first to improve myself later. While some may have thought that it was a loss for the athlete, he doubled down on his choice saying: “Nike had the Shaq brand at one point but they didn’t pay attention to it, they didn’t want anything to do with it and they told me gave it back and I’ve grown it to 600 million pairs sold since.”

In other sports news, the NFL has suspended three players for violating COVID-19 protocols.

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