Yes, he's actually had a cellular telephone imbedded in the sole bottom of one of his size-22 sneakers, the ones he wears in games. It has an antenna that extends from the toe, and he debuted it in the locker room before Sunday's All-Star Game.
When someone inevitably asked about the device at his side, O'Neal picked it up and showed it off. Then he'd say, "It should ring soon."
Then it would ring. It happened at least twice during the 30-minute pre-game interview period.
Not so coincidentally, Michael Lissack, who is on the Heat's media relations staff, was seated beside O'Neal holding a curious package of wristbands. Of course, the package was big enough that it could conceal a cellphone programed to call the O'Neal's fancy shoe.
O'Neal revealed two marketing ideas for the shoe phone.
"I wanted to wear it in a game," O'Neal said, "and I get fouled and I wanted my father to call me on the free-throw line and I'd say, 'Yes sir. Follow through? OK.' "
His other idea was to pretend he twisted his ankle and while he's on the floor in mock pain in front of the television camera have his wife call and urge him to "suck it up" and "get back in the game."
But the shoe phone hasn't been practical. A bad thing happened to the phone when he wore the shoe at his house.
"I stepped on it and crushed it," he said.