1992: From the Human Highlight Film to Dee Brown, who recently won the NBA dunk contest by performing the longest Reebok Pump commercial of all-time, Reebok was becoming known as a home for the league’s best dunkers.
So when Nike wasn’t willing to give a rookie Shaq his own shoe, Reebok offered the future rookie of the year a deal he couldn’t refuse and then called on some of the best centers of all-time, Wilt, Russell, Kareem and Walton, to introduce Shaq as the next great one during the 1993 Super Bowl.
For the next few years, Shaq practiced what he preached, Don’t Fake The Funk On A Nasty Dunk, by dunking on every big man in the league and leaving his Reebok print on the bodies of a lot of defenders. During this time, the Reign Man also joined the Reebok family and was doing his share of showing off his kicks by swinging on rims and placing his foot near the face of posterized defenders lying on the ground.
It’s two decades later and the dunking legends are retired and talking trash at a barber shop in a new Reebok series called The Retro Shop. Episode 1 of the online series even reunited Shaq with one of his co-stars from his debut Reebok commercial – Bill Walton. Well, sort of. Walton is represented by a fan that gets thrown out by Shaq, who had a rocky relationship with Walton during his playing days, after the fan said Walton was a better center than Shaq and the other legendary big men from Shaq’s debut.
I can’t wait for episode 2 and can’t stress how happy I am seeing Reebok and Shaq together again.
Coincidentally, I just bought a Reebok Shaq shirt last month off Ebay that I owned back in 94 or 95. It said “Take Care of Your Baby” on the front with a pic of Shaq kissing a Reebok ball on the back. I had teachers stopping me asking if I was wearing a Pro-Life shirt. I think my reply was “I’m just pro ball and pro life.” That reply later morphed into a saying I say everyday – Ball is life!
BONUS FLASHBACK VIDS