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Shaq gives Obama big shoe to fill -- size 23

February 18, 2009 |  8:26 am

President Obama in Phoenix receiving a gift of an autographed shoe that Phoenix Sun star Shaquille O'Neil wore in the 2009 NBA All-Star game

If the shoe fits.... Well, it didn't.

When President Obama arrived in Phoenix on Monday for  his major speech there today on the foreclosure mess, he was greeted by a small crowd including Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and his son.

The Phoenix Suns' Shaquille O'Neil, who shared MVP honors with the Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game, could not be on hand to greet the president. So the mayor's son Jake got to do the honors, giving the basketball-obsessed Obama one of the size 23 orange-and-white shoes that Shaq wore in the game -- this one autographed.

From all appearances, the Basketball Player in Chief loved the item, smiling as he set it on the ground next to his own, much smaller shoe.

Big shoes to fill....

--Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

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