Lakers: Shaquille O’Neal Reveals Why Hakeem Olajuwon Was No Competition

Shaq Kobe

Getty Shaquille O'Neal pictured at Kobe Bryant's funeral.

A highlight from the 90s was Shaquille O’Neal‘s duel with Hakeem Olajuwon in the 1995 NBA Finals.

Olajuwon’s  Houston Rockets did get the win over O’Neal’s Orlando Magic.

In addition to discussing Hakeem Olajuwon during this week’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, Shaq discussed influence on culture and more.

Check out our discussion below: 

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Shaq, last question. When you look at your ability to influence old people, white people, black people, Asian people, young people – just everybody. Was it everything you imagined? Where did you shock yourself in your ability to influence?

Shaquille O’Neal: I don’t shock myself but learned way before I get drafted, ‘Son, with money comes certain problems, but NEVER sell you soul.’ So if you’re not doing that, I’m always genuine. And I think people see that repetitive genuiness throughout me. If you look at me in 1992, and you look at me now, same crooked smile, same mumbly voice, same funny jokes, same skits – I’ve been doing it. So when people see me they’re like this guy – when you see on TV, that’s one thing. But then when you’re at Walmart and you see me, you’re like damn…this dude is just like he is on TV. People like that. I know a lot of people that ain’t who they are when they get behind these podcasts, mics or when they get behind – you know what I’m sayin’…and I always say to myself: I’m not going to be like that. If I’m going to show you something, then I gotta be genuine. If I’m going to sell you some $20 Walmart shoes, those are the ones that I gotta be wearing.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah! Those $20 Walmart shoes! That’s interesting because you went toe-to-toe with Hakeem Olajuwon. And he wore Spalding shoes –

Center Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets goes up for two during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at The Summit in Houston, Texas.

Shaquille O’Neal: No. No. No. Hakeem Olajuwon was no competition – Stop it

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Why?

Shaquille O’Neal: Because I’m under Michael Jordan! It’s Michael Jordan and then it’s me! [laughs] see what I’m sayin’? For example, like Hakeem and Marbury. Marbury ain’t worldwide like that. I’m worldwide. Worldwide and a name that’s trusted. Not only that, I know what’s going on with the kids. The reason why kids don’t want to wear $20 shoes is why?….

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Because they’re corny and they’re ugly –

Shaquille O’Neal: No. You’re correct. Because they look they’re $20. My shoes don’t look like they’re $20. So if you give somebody a nice design shoe, and you give them a great price, they are gonna buy it regardless of the name. That’s why every year I sell 8-10 million pairs. Nobody knows. 8-10 million pairs. I sell 8 million shoes a year.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: How many?

Shaquille O’Neal: 8 to 10 million pairs a year.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Damn. That’s a lot of shoes Shaq.

Shaquille O’Neal: I know. Same leather as everybody else. Same everything. It’s just that my price point is different because I was that kid that mom couldn’t afford no converse. I had to wear Buddy’s. You remember Buddy’s

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: That was before my time but I know of them

Shaquille O’Neal: That’s what I’m sayin’. Buddy’s were so bad that they had their own theme song: Buddy’s! They make your feet feel fine/ Buddy’s they cost a $1.99 … yup they were called Buddy’s and I had to wear some other shoes called Buster Browns…

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I know about Buster Browns. I had cousins who wore them

Shaquille O’Neal: So I know how it is with moms out there that want their kids to feel accepted and still be fresh. This is where I come in at. And guess what? Ain’t nobody sellin’ more than Walmart products. I don’t care who you are. They got a lot of stores. And I’m in ALL of them.