Shaquille O'Neal is an icon of the game. And like many other icons of the game, he has his own signature shoe. The appeal of a signature shoe to the fans is that they can wear the shoes of their favorite player and try to be like them. Shaq has his own brand of shoes, but a big part of why he owns it is due to Nike not seeing anything in it.
During his interview with Complex's Sneaker Shopping, Shaq revealed that Nike initially owned the Shaq line, which is why they bore a striking resemblance to Jordans as well. But Nike didn't pay attention to the line, nor see its value, so Shaq sold it to another company, and helped build it to its $600 million evaluation.
“The Shaq line, Nike owned us at one point. A lot of people don’t know that... The guy who I had a joint venture with, Nike owned it and Nike didn’t want us. So, I brought it back and sold it to somebody else... Nike did own the Shaq brand but they didn’t pay attention. They didn’t want anything to do with the Shaq brand. So, they gave it back to me and I grew it to 600 Million.”
In the same interview, Shaq explained why doesn't wear Jordan shoes anymore. On top of that, he explained why he wanted to sell his shoes at a cheaper price, rather than selling shoes for anywhere between $160 to $200 shoes.
Nike and Shaq have been at odds before. Shaq even famously revealed why he sabotaged his interview and a potential deal with Nike to go sign with Reebok instead. So clearly, there is no love lost between Shaq and Nike. But what Shaq has been able to do, providing cheap shoes for fans is really commendable.