It’s probably pretty cool, comma, when you’re a celebrity, getting to talk to other celebrities. Of course here, at the Shaq Fu radio blog, we wouldn’t know. Still, it’s fun to dream.
Talking on a recent podcast, the Big Man talked about a conversation he once had with Barack Obama. Yes, that Barack Obama, the former President of the United States!
It all started back in the day when Obama was in the White House, and O’Neal had the idea to “gift” the President with a few pairs of shoes. After all, one of Shaq’s businesses is in athletic shoes and apparel, so it probably sounded like a good promotional or marketing idea, right?
Well, even when you are one of the most famous, most well-known names in sports, you don’t just get to show up at the front door of the White House and make a surprise entry. BTW, we’re not sure what door he showed up at…but stay with us, here.
On a business trip to Washington, D.C., Shaq had the idea to present the President with the shoes. O’Neal says he tried to talk his way into a meeting with Obama, if only for a minute, but it never worked out. We’re guessing the Secret Service – which protects the President – wouldn’t let him through. Never mind that he’s one of the most recognizable guys on the planet. Rules are rules.
So instead of meeting up with Obama, Shaq was able to drop off the shoes as a gift to the President, a well-known hoops fan. Apparently, that worked out OK, and he was able to leave the gift for Obama.
Shaq recounts how later, his phone rang with an unknown number. When he answered, it was the President, thanking him for the gift.
Here’s Shaq telling the story: “I was in the area. I was there. What happened was I was there but I didn’t have clearance. And I didn’t want to use my powers. Because I wanted to hand-deliver him the shoe. I met him but I didn’t meet him. One time I was in DC and I tried to flex my powers. Went to the gate. ‘Hey, tell Obama Shaq is here. I showed them my police badge. They said ‘Shaq we love you’ but all this. So as I’m walking away, I get a phone call from a strange number. I say ‘hello’? It’s the president. I said ‘Mr. Obama, how’d you get my number?’. He said ‘Come on, Shaq, I’m the President’.”
Is that a great line, or what? For sure, not everyone gets to use those kinds of superpowers, but when you’re the President, well…
Eventually, O’Neal did get some time with Obama. “… I finally met him. He invited me to this thing he did at the White House. But I was 0-2 in just trying to use my powers to meet him.”
Just another super-cool milestone and memory for Shaq and his over-the-top life. Hopefully President Obama was able to put the shoes to good use!