Lakers forward and superstar LeBron James discloses the reason behind his brave decision to forego a multi-million dollar paycheck from Reebok at age 18.
Imagine being a high-school student from humble origins like Akron, Ohio, and getting an opportunity to bag 10 million dollars. From one of the biggest sporting names in the world. 10 MILLION DOLLARS. Who in their right mind would let that slide?
Well, that’s not how kings think, apparently.
The 4-time NBA champion revealed in an interview that he was offered a fat paycheck from Reebok for endorsing the brand while he was still in high school. He surely deserved it as well, being one of the most hyped number 1 prospects in NBA history. However, he went on to decline the offer.
In the interview, LeBron can be seen saying that even though he believed it was a generous offer at the time, he couldn’t resist wondering if there would be even better deals in the near future, as and when his stock grew and the hype reached its peak.
To no surprise, he wasn’t wrong. With expectations rising across the country for the highly talented forward from St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, it was a matter of months before a host of sports companies lined up to get a piece of the wonder-boy.
LeBron James reveals how his life changed after getting huge endorsement deals while still in high-school
At the age of 18, a kid from Akron turned down a $10M check from Reebok.
• “I started thinking… if he’s willing to give me a $10M check now, what if Nike or Adidas is willing to give me 20?”
A few months later, LeBron signed with Nike for $90M. pic.twitter.com/Dq99vD9D8l
— Nathan Baugh (@nathanbaugh27) August 19, 2021
A few months later, the superstar agreed to sign with Nike, a giant in the sports industry, for $90M. That’s an 800% increase from the original offer he received from Reebok! Talk about betting on yourself.
There’s a reason why the King is in the GOAT conversation for what he does. Gifted athleticism and determination are surely big contributors to his success, however, having an astute mind is probably his greatest strength and one which puts him far ahead of his peers.