In 2003, LeBron James signed a 7-year, $87 million deal with Nike, losing over $28 million by not choosing Reebok
Coming to the NBA is a dream for anyone who loves to play basketball. However, only a few can actually materialize on the same. Of these few, only a select few are considered the greats of the game. LeBron James is one of them.
Getting tons of recognition from his freshman year in high school himself, LeBron James was a highly sought-after person. From his high school days, LBJ was compared to the great Michael Jordan. Many have gone so far as to call the young high school student MJ’s next comer.
Also Read: ‘LeBron James Is the Most Gifted Player We’ve Ever Seen, But Michael Jordan Changed the Game’: When Karl-Anthony Towns Explained Why the Bulls Superstar Was His Pick for the GOAT Debate
Ever since he declared for the NBA Draft in the summer of 2003, shoe brands have been after him for a deal. Ahead of the NBA draft, King had to choose between Nike, Reebok and Adidas as the shoes he would wear on his big-stage debut.
LeBron James Lost $28 Million Choosing Nike, But Has Made About $1 Billion Since
In 2003, Reebok offered James $115 million for a rookie contract. On the other hand, Nike offered $87 million and Adidas offered less than $60 million. LeBron James decided to tackle the brand that his idol, Michael Jordan, trusted, and opted for Nike.
“I’M A NIKE GUY”
19 years ago today, 18-year-old LeBron James signed a 7-year, $87 million contract with Nike.
Reebok would have offered 115 million dollars and Adidas less than 60 million dollars! pic.twitter.com/Ea0faV1fI4
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 22, 2022
19 years later, LeBron is on a lifetime deal with Nike, having signed a $1 billion contract for the same. Other than that, LBJ earns around $32 million a year from the shoe brand.
19 years later, LeBron has a lifetime contract worth over $1 billion pic.twitter.com/cld4bx4Nbg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 22, 2022
Also read: “No NBA? No problem! Kevin Durant and LeBron James were out for blood!”: When the Lakers superstar and Nets frontman faced off in a pickup game during the 2011 Lockout
Nike has opened the LeBron James Innovation Center on its Oregon campus. Together, Nike and LBJ have worked to bring about change for the good of athletes and society.
With what he earned from the Swoosh, I guess the initial $28 million wouldn’t hurt LBJ that much.