Shaq Defends Selling His Sneakers at Discount Prices After Getting Clowned By Marco

On May 15, on his show “The Big Podcast,” Shaq shared with fellow podcaster and comedian Funny Marco why choosing to sell his shoes at Walmart and the now-defunct Payless was a savvy decision, despite facing some criticism.

Photo via YouTube, The Big Podcast

While Michael Jordan’s signature Air Jordan were dubbed Jumpman, Shaq had his own signature sneakers that mirrored the Jordan Brand’s very own, the Dunkman, as reported by Complex.

Those Shaq Shoes

In the early 2000s, Shaq turned down a $40 million deal to extend his contract with Reebok, which led to the creation of Dunkman.

Separate from his Reebok sneakers – which Finurah previously reported were released in 1992 as part of Shaq’s $3 million per year endorsement deal with Reebok when he was a rookie, retailing at the time for $135 and featuring a leather upper with Reebok’s Graphlite cushioning technology – the affordable Dunkman sneaker line was released in 2001 in response to price concerns from parents and sold for around $35, a fraction of the cost of major brands like Nike or Adidas, Forbes reported.

However, reliving his childhood embarrassment, Marco jovially confronts Shaq about the quality of the Dunkman sneakers, mentioning that his own pair had holes in the bottom and made him a target for bullying.

Marco also points out how Dunkman sneakers suspiciously look eerily similar to Jumpman sneakers, making the Dunkman branding seem more like a joke or a blatant ripoff to unsuspecting buyers.

Shaq emphatically defends the sneakers, asserting that they are produced in the same factories as other brands, and he is still making millions from selling them.

Shaq then makes a call to China, to his factory he said, but doesn’t hold a conversation about the sneakers with anyone.

Marco: Can I tell you something? You’ve been a part of my school career. It started with the shoes. I got picked on for wearing your shoes, so I want to say thank you.

Shaq: Why did you get picked on for wearing my shoes?

Marco: It was the price. For some reason, even though they cost less, they had holes in the bottom.

Shaq: Oh no, you didn’t. It’s the same leather as everybody else. Would you like me to call the factory?

Marco: Where are the shoes now?

Shaq: They’re not off the market. I’ve sold 400 million pairs since ’92. I’m about to call my Chinese factory. … You want to hear an interesting story? So, Jordan is Jumpman and mine is Dunkman.

Marco: You’ve got the same logo.

Shaq: No, let’s be real. Jordan dunks like this, with one hand. Mine is two hands up in your face with the Dunkman logo.

Footwear News reported in 2016 that Shaq claimed the Dunkman sneakers had sold more than 120 million pairs of affordable shoes at Walmart. In total, with his existing Reebok-branded Shaq sneakers, he had sold more than 400 million pairs, as reported by Forbes.

Currently, Shaq, alongside Allen Iverson, has been appointed as an executive at Reebok’s sports division, serving as its president and vice president, respectively.

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