March 18, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 10
From Superman, Diesel, and Shaq Fu to the Big Aristotle, Banana, or Baryshnikov, over the course of Shaquille O’Neal’s legendary basketball career, he has gone by more different names than you could ever hope to count. And while it didn’t exactly originate on the basketball court, one of the most fondly-remembered of them all came from Shaq’s role playing the character, Neon Boudreaux, in the 1994 movie, Blue Chips. The film may not have brought home any Oscar hardware for the cast and crew, but as far as b-ball movies are concerned, it has gone on to become a certified classic.
At the time of its release, Blue Chips‘ main selling point was a mega-popular young Shaq in a starring role, but once that got people into the theaters, they were treated to an entertaining and fairly realistic tale that exposed the seedy side of college basketball recruiting corruption and the alumni boosters that feed the beast. Alongside Nick Nolte as his frustrated, morally-torn coach and fellow baller/actor (and then real-life Magic teammate) Penny Hardaway, Shaq’s debut on the big screen further elevated his star power and marketability as a product endorser.
When it came to selling sneakers though, Shaq didn’t need much help as his Reebok signature line was a huge hit with consumers in its original heyday. Now, more than twenty years after they first hit shelves, Reebok has brought some of his most beloved models like the Shaq Attaq and Shaqnosis back into circulation both in original colorways as well as some new ones. Since making their retro return last year, we’ve seen all different color schemes giving
nods to Shaq’s personal history and various former teams, but leave it to Packer Shoes to come up with a heritage spin that has a little more fun than the rest.
Following up on their “Practice” edition of Allen Iverson’s Question and the “Remember the Alamo” colorway of Shawn Kemp’s Reebok Kamikaze II, Packer once again re-imagines history, taking that “what if” approach to the Shaq Attaq and decking it out in the royal/yellow color scheme of the fictional Western University Dolphins. With an upper done up in a premium combination of pigskin suede and heavy duty mesh, additional details like the “Official Friend of the Program” branding, the money bag insoles, and Neon’s #50 stitched onto the inner tongue label help bring the story to life in a clever way that stays true to its inspiration and comes off as a generally believable look for the era.
Packer Shoes has already trickled out a small number of “OFP” Shaq Attaqs to the public with a surprise February release of 20 pairs on the actual 20th anniversary of Blue Chips‘ debut in theaters and then the special 50 Selection Sunday bundles that featured a money stack-lined duffle bag, reversible Mitchell & Ness practice jersey and a Monster Powercard portable battery. It’s almost time for the wider release, so stay tuned to Packer Shoes in the coming days for full release info, and check out our exclusive interview with Neon Boudreaux himself, Shaquille O’Neal, as we discuss his early days with Reebok, the return of his signature line, and his thoughts on the Packer Shoes “Official Friend of the Program” Shaq Attaq.