The Man Behind Brand Shaq

Agent Leonard Armato speaks softly but drives a hard deal

At 2 a.m. on July 18, the Shaq Inc. brain trust was settling into a ninth-floor suite in Atlanta's Westin Peachtree Plaza. Unofficial chairman of this two-man marketing powerhouse, basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal, was making his way up from the Olympic Village. Working the phones between Orlando and Los Angeles, Leonard Armato, O'Neal's agent, was doing what he does best: stoking the earning potential of the most famous 7-footer in America.

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