Published February 17, 2009
| Associated Press
PHOENIX – What's the ideal gift for a basketball-obsessed president? Try a size 23 sneaker personally autographed by Shaquille O'Neal.
The Phoenix Suns center couldn't be around himself when President Barack Obama arrived at Sky Harbor International Airport Tuesday afternoon. So when the president stepped off of Air Force One, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's son Jake made the presentation at the foot of the stairs.
The orange-and-white sneaker made a big impression.
Obama set it on the ground next to his own, much smaller shoe, and grinned as photographers captured the moment. Then Obama scooped it up and took it with him as he stepped into the presidential limo.
In Sunday's NBA All-Star game, O'Neal shared MVP honors with Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.