Chances are, at least one of Shaquille O'Neal's former college professors feels pretty stupid for how he graded one of Shaq's business proposals during his time at LSU. During an interview on HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel airing this Tuesday night, Shaq tells a story about a time one of his professors failed him for pitching a brand centered entirely around him.
"My marketing professor said, ‘Okay, class, bring me something that you could see being sold in the foreseeable future.’ So, you know me. I came in with the Shaq shoes, Shaq socks, Shaq shirt, Shaq everything. And the guy gave me an F. He actually embarrassed me in front of the class. He said, ‘Shaq, I know you're full of yourself, and I see you put a lot of time into this, but if you look at the climate of the NBA, big guys are not sellin'. This'll never work.’"
While the professor was not entirely wrong, big men do traditionally have a harder time selling product in the NBA, this sentiment could not be more incorrect for Shaq. The man has become more than a Hall of Fame NBA center. He is his own brand. The interview even cites some of his current endorsement deals that range from auto insurance to cruise vacations. Oh yeah, he also legitimately created that Shaq brand that his professor failed him for back in college that offers an affordable line of footwear and apparel for less-fortunate children.
Shaq and his self-proclaimed "fun business" can be seen everywhere on television these days, probably even more than when he was playing. His Inside the NBA co-host Charles Barkley even has a humorous remark about just how much he sees the face of the Big Aristotle. "It's him. Then, it's him. Then, it's him. And then, we have to come back out, and I'm looking right at him again. It's annoying."
The entire interview with O'Neal airs on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on Tuesday, March 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Check out a snippet from the sit-down in the video player above.