Shaquille O'Neal has plenty of career accomplishments next to his name in the history books, but we're here today to celebrate a very specific, and probably unofficial one. In a recent interview with HBO's Real Sports, Shaq made an impressive but completely believable claim: "I have the highest purchase in Walmart history," which he says came to around $70,000.
It happened back in 2008, after the Miami Heat traded him to Phoenix, and he had to move to a new place in Arizona on relatively short notice. Once he was there, he realized that if he wanted to stock up the entire place in one go, there was really only one shopping option available to him, and he wasn't hesitant to take advantage. He explains:
"I'm very impatient. So they already got the apartment set up, and I ain't got nothing. I ain't got no towels, I ain't got no pots and pans … I'm Walmart's biggest customer … Pans, socks, underwears, tank tops, TVs, printers, computers."
Now, picture Shaq and his entourage leading an ungodly caravan of Walmart shopping carts to the checkout line. They get everything scanned, and then when it comes time to pay the unthinkable happens: His credit card is declined. No, it wasn't because the Phoenix Suns messed up Shaq's direct deposit, but because as Shaq tells it the purchase was so large that the American Express fraud detection service kicked in:
"The security team from American Express calls me, 'Hey man, somebody stole your credit card. They're at Walmart,'" O'Neal said. "I said, 'No sir, that's me.' The guy goes, 'What the f— are you buying?!'"
Shaq was able to straighten it out on the phone, though, and the rest is (unwritten) history. Personally, I like to imagine Shaq's face on a plaque somewhere at Walmart HQ, commemorating the biggest single purchase in the company's history, but Walmart hasn't commented on the story publicly as of this writing.