LeBron James may have missed a chance at another NBA title last season, but that didn’t stop Nike from offering him a lifetime shoe deal worth at least $500 million.
A source informed USA Today that James’ deal will grant him $30 million annually, dwarfing Nike’s recent deals, including Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant’s 10-year, $300 million deal signed in August and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden’s 13-year, $200 million deal, signed the same month. The Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard’s deal with Adidas gave him roughly $100 million over eight years; Derrick Rose got a reported $185 million over 13 years with Adidas.
James released a video celebrating the deal, in which he stated:
For myself, for my family, for my friends, for my fans, it’s something that’s very, I don’t know, I want to say, it’s emotional for myself, this journey we’ve been on so long, we’re all a part of this, it’s not just me, it’s not just my family, it’s not just my friends, it’s not just my fans, we’re all together in this, because you guys have been with me from the beginning. I’m very humble, I’m very blessed, I never thought that this day would ever, would ever even come about. Me coming into a lifetime contract deal with such a great company like Nike, For them taking a chance… I just think back to them taking a chance on a 17-year-old skinny kid from Akron, Ohio. I always told myself, you know, ‘Bron let’s try to figure out a way to put this city on the map,’ and hopefully I’ll continue to make this city proud.
James has every reason to include Akron residents in his deal, as his generosity verges on the incredible. In August, James joined University of Akron president Scott Scarborough to announce that every child who finished the LeBron James Family Foundations’s “I PROMISE” program would attend college for free.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 13, 2015
The University of Akron will work with James’ foundation to raise the funds for a possible 2,300 students in the Akron school system, at a cost of $38,000 per student, to receive a full four-year scholarship, totaling over $87 million.