He was the next “big thing.” The buzz around the mobile 7-footer from LSU was the talk of the NBA in November of 1992. Sneaker companies had vied for his services but in the end, Shaq’s rookie shoes were size 22 Reebok PUMPs. Now, that old school sneaker is back as a piece of autographed Shaq memorabilia.
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of O’Neal’s NBA debut, Steiner Sports has launched an exclusive edition sneaker, autographed by Shaq and inscribed “HOF 16” in tribute to his induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame last year.
O’Neal became the first professional spokesperson for Reebok and helped propel that company’s athletic footwear line. “Pumping up” shoes by pressing down on a special button atop the tongue became a staple for kids who bought a pair.
As of now, Steiner is offering the shoe and a custom-designed display case for $699.99–$500 less than what it says will be the eventual retail price. The display case has a mirrored bottom, a black wood base and UV coated glass. The case has a photo of a young Shaq executing a slam dunk.
Shaq shares the distinction of wearing the largest-sized sneaker in NBA history with fellow Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, who first wore a size 22 shoe from 1970 through 1982.