REO Speedwagon frontman Kevin Cronin loves the Los Angeles Lakers, so it should come as no surprise that he owns a huge piece -- literally -- of Lakers memorabilia that belonged to former center Shaquille O'Neal.
Cronin explains it in the following post:
"Hey Shaquille O'Neal – you might not remember this, but I was the reason you only found one shoe in your locker back at the end of the 2003 NBA season. My band REO Speedwagon was playing a show at Staples Center, and being a huge Laker fan I asked one of the owners if I could see the Lakers locker room. We were standing right at your locker, so the dude popped it open and asked if I wanted to see your shoes. Like I said, I’m a big time Lakers fan, so the temptation was too great. I have to tell you, I stole one of your shoes! It’s a prized possession that’s been on display at my house since that day..."
Before you think ill of him, in fact Cronin was actually given the shoe.
(Kevin Cronin's wife Lisa with the size 23 Shaq sneaker - courtesy of Kevin Cronin)
On Friday, REO performed at Breese Stevens Field in Madison where Shaq did a DJ set.
Cronin concluded his note by writing, "I would like to make amends. Even though they may be a bit small, I would like to give you BOTH my shoes...and I’ll even do the gig barefoot, if that helps even the score..."
Kevin shared his story with Shaq on Friday, and on Saturday he told us, "So I get the photo of my wife Lisa holding the shoe, and give it to Shaq backstage in Madison. He looks at it, my guess is he noticed my hot wife first, then he does a double take and goes, 'Hey, that’s my shoe...where did you get that?' I told him the story, and next thing I know he is asking where I live, telling me he lives nearby, just being a total real, down to Earth, if enormous, dude. What you see is what you get with Shaquille...plus he spun some great classic rock during his DJ set. My wife and I are planning our summer vacation, and saving on hotels by staying in Shaq’s [size 23] shoe...it is really quite spacious!”
(Shaq signing photo for Kevin Cronin Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin - courtesy of Kevin Cronin)
REO had another star encounter when country singer Sara Evans, who performed with them on CMT Crossroads in 2015, joined in on “Take It on the Run.”
(REO Speedwagon with Sara Evans and Shaquille O'Neal Friday night in Madison, Wisconsin - courtesy of Kevin Cronin)