Shaquille O’Neal will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame next month and it’s just not possible for the guy not to think of a gimmick to accompany this huge an occasion.
O’Neal has teamed up with sports collectibles company Steiner Sports to offer fans the chance to celebrate his Hall of Fame induction next month in the biggest way possible: his size 22 shoe.
The company will announce Thursday at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City that it is taking orders for signed versions of the first signature shoe O’Neal wore in the NBA, the Reebok Shaq Attaq.
The shoe will cost $999.32, the cents a tribute to his jersey number with his original team, the Orlando Magic.
“For the collector, this is very much the unicorn,” said Colin Smeeton, who represented O’Neal on the deal. “We give out very few signed size 22 shoes a year to charity auctions, and they always command big dollars.”
Steiner Sports CEO Brandon Steiner said all 1,000 won’t be the same. They’ll be numbered, often to 32 and 34, his jersey numbers, and will feature different stat inscriptions from his time as a player with the Magic, Lakers and Heat and from his college days at LSU. O’Neal might also sign shoes with some of his creative nicknames, including “The Big Aristotle,” “The Big Baryshnikov,” and “Shaq Fu.”
Each shoe will come in a custom glass case and will feature a newly created signature from Shaq featuring his entire first name along with an “HOF ’16” inscription.
Once O’Neal’s induction was announced, Smeeton worked with Reebok to specially make the shoes and have them put into production so they would be ready to ship in September.
O’Neal’s feet are the largest to step on an NBA court, tied with Bob Lanier, the former Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks great who also wore a size 22.