May 31, 2012 BY John Kim
Was there a bigger ‘celebrity’ in NBA history than Shaquille O’neal? Arguments can be made for other individuals like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, or Magic Johnson, but do any other their off-the-court accomplishments match that of the Big Aristotle? Aside from his pure dominance of the NBA paint, Shaq was a champion of pop-culture, appearing in a number of feature films (don’t like, you watched them all), releasing hip-hop albums, starring in video games, hosting Saturday Night Live, and once he reeled in his first NBA Title in 2000, it’s safe to say his considerably large ‘bucket list’ was entirely checked off by age 30. In the mid-90’s, Shaq was the center of a major endorsement push by Reebok, acting as one of the four athletes in the ‘Reebok Planet’ campaign while headlining the rising Reebok Basketball roster of stars which included Shawn Kemp, Nick Van Exel, and Glenn Robinson. Expectations were high for Reebok Basketball during that era, which served as an aggressive and competitive battleground for Reebok and Nike who traded blows for several years, but with the daunting force at the Center position, Reebok had all the star-power it needed to hold its own.
Just after Shaq made his first NBA Finals appearance in 1995 (just his third year in the NBA), Reebok moved forward from the Shaq Attaq line and debuted the Shaqnosis for the ’95-’96 season. The design was a stark contrast to the previous Attaq models as it featured a unique design of concentric circles zeroing in on the Reebok logo blocked at the center of the shoe, leaning heavily on the visual stimulation displayed by Shaq’s immense size-22 feet. The Shaqnosis played side-by-side with Shaq’s physical game, as it provided a ‘hypnotic’ effect when paired with his sheer force in the paint. Shaq’s game and personality was the perfect suitor for such a staggering design, making the Shaqnosis one of the most memorable shoes in history and certainly one of the most mentioned in the “remember these…” discussions. With the return of the Reebok Shaq line confirmed for 2013, Shaqnosis is ready to cast its hypnotic spell on for a second time, so continue on for a gallery of this generation-defining sneaker below and stay tuned for the final installment of Reebok 90’s stay in our Classics Revisited column!