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NFL Legends Discuss Select Few Players Who Could Turn Down Multi-Million Dollar Shoe Deals Like Giannis Antetokounmpo

Shubham Singh

NFL Legends Discuss Select Few Players Who Could Turn Down Multi-Million Dollar Shoe Deals Like Giannis Antetokounmpo

It’s no secret that Giannis Antetokounmpo is “ride-or-die” when it comes to his brothers. The major decisions in his life have often revolved around them, including important business decisions. Considering their humble beginnings, Antetokounmpo always makes sure that his family stays self-sufficient. In a huge instance of such an action, Antetokounmpo had turned down a multi-million-dollar deal from Adidas because they were unwilling to get his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo on board. Hence, the Milwaukee Bucks star opted to sign with Nike in 2013 and has released five signature shoes since then.

While alluding to Giannis’ bold move to turn down Adidas way before he was a superstar, former NFL stalwarts Shannon Sharpe and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson discussed how many athletes in the NBA can undertake such a daring maneuver. They had a hard time finding names who could take such a step for their family. However, LeBron James and Kevin Durant did come up on their list.

LeBron can do it, I think a KD can do it, if he had some close brother that played the game of basketball…,” Chad Johnson told Shannon Sharpe.

Apart from that, the two agreed that Stephen Curry can also pull off something like that. They recalled how Curry played with his brother-in-law Damion Lee for multiple seasons and is known for his family-first image. 

At any rate, Nike got a big-time signee after Giannis Antetokounmpo opted to sign with them. The 2x MVP liked how, unlike Adidas, Nike’s representative was willing to accommodate his family-related demands without much trouble.

How Nike landed Giannis Antetokounmpo

On the “Thanalysis Show”, Thanasis Antetokounmpo asked his 29-year-old brother about how he “ended up with Nike”. The 2021 Finals MVP then recalled the tales of his “17-and-a-half-year-old” self embarking on a professional hoops journey. At that time, an Adidas representative approached him, a year before the 2013 NBA draft, with a multi-million dollar shoe deal. But he had to turn it down for the aforesaid reasons.

Despite knowing Antetokounmpo’s family troubles, the Adidas rep didn’t include his brother’s name in the contract. Therefore, the NBA-bound athlete rejected it instantly. On the contrary, Nike’s representative had no qualms about including Antetokounmpo’s family in the deal.

It was my turn to speak and I said it’s important for me to be like a family thing. When you take me, you take my family, my brother and my mom, and she[Nike’s rep] was like, ‘Yeah, sure whatever’. And after that, we’ve been with Nike and she has been by our side since then,” Antetokounmpo heartily narrated.

The Giannis Antetokounmpo story sums up familial bonds taking precedence over personal business benefits. Whenever the Bucks athlete thinks about a business opportunity, he makes sure that his family is involved in it. This approach has bore fruits for the Antetokounmpo family. 

About the author

Shubham Singh

Shubham Singh


Shubham Singh is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush. He found his passion in Writing when he couldn't fulfil his dream of playing professional basketball. Shubham is obsessed with box scores and also loves to keep track of advanced stats and is, particularly, fond of writing CoreSport analytical pieces. In the league, his all time favorites were 80s Bad Boys, Pistons, while Dennis Rodman and his enthralling rebounding made him love the game more. It also made him realize that the game is much more than fancy scoring and playmaking. Shubham is also a huge fan of cricket and loves to watch all forms of women sports.

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