Magic Johnson Chose Converse Over Nike And Missed A Chance To Earn $5.2 Billion: Nike Offered $1 For Every Pair Of Shoes Sold And 100,000 Shares Worth $0.18 At The Time

Magic Johnson is one of the biggest names to have ever played in the NBA, and very few players have enjoyed the hype he did coming into the NBA. Having led his college team to the NCAA championship over his rival Larry Bird in what was the most-watched college basketball game ever, Magic entered the league as the man of the moment and would go on to be Finals MVP in his rookie season as well.

Understandably, Johnson was a coveted property when it came to endorsements and there was a bit of a battle in terms of which shoe company he would sign with. Both Nike and Converse made offers to Magic and the decision came down to whether he would take stocks instead of cash, with the 19-year-old choosing Converse, who had offered him $100,000 a year at the time.

However, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s the offer that Nike put on the table that would have made him a lot more money had he chosen to go with them. The company offered Johnson $1 for every pair of shoes sold along with 100,000 shares in stock options, with the stock valued at $0.18 at the time.

When contextualized, considering that Nike stock is worth $134 today, Johnson would have $5.2 billion to his name had he decided to sign with the company. However, Converse was a bigger brand than Nike at the time, which adds some more context as to why Magic made his decision as well. 

Nike went on to explode with Michael Jordan, who did end up becoming a billionaire, thanks largely in part to his partnership with the shoe company. There were suggestions that Jordan’s rise and the hype around him and Nike were factors in souring his relationship with Magic a little in their early years, but the two went on to bond during their stint with the 1992 Dream Team. Also, considering that Magic is now worth an estimated $600 million, it’s safe to say he didn’t do too badly for himself either. 

Source: Yardbarker

How The Boston Celtics Ruined Isaiah Thomas’ Career

Isaiah Thomas went from an MVP candidate to out of the league in 3 years. Why did this happen? How did his hip injuries go unnoticed and derail his career as quickly as it did? NBA players should take the tale of Isaiah Thomas as a warning that there’s no loyalty in basketball, and this is how the Boston Celtics ruined his career.

Lakers Land $100-Million Jersey Patch Deal With Korean Food Brand Bibigo

This partnership is about more than just dumplings and basketball – food and sports have the power to unite and connect people from all walks of life. The devotion required to create a meal filled with love and care is akin to the devotion needed to swallow a three-point shot game after a fight. That’s why Bibigo and the Lakers both have passionate fans all over the globe – they live off the devotion needed for their craft. This connection is suitable for a natural partnership that is particularly organic.

As the new official global marketing partner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Bibigo will partner with the team to create and share inspiring content, drive consumer engagement and offer unique opportunities to introduce fans to the delicious flavors and benefits of Korean food. Bibigo will implement its marketing programs through Lakers’ properties such as signage in the arena, digital content elements on Lakers.com and the jersey patch designation.

Source: LA Times

What The Russell Westbrook Trade Means For The Los Angeles Lakers

The quest to maximize whatever elite years remain in LeBron James took another turn, and perhaps the sharpest one yet, with the Los Angeles Lakers getting Russell Westbrook in a major Draft-day trade.

This was a deal that required the Lakers to cross their fingers while shaking hands with the Washington Wizards. That’s because, as combustible as Westbrook is — he’s rewritten all the triple-double records in the book — his skill-set fits only in certain systems and situations. Placing Westbrook next to LeBron and also Anthony Davis will require adjustments and sacrifices with everyone involved in this Big Three experiment, but especially with Westbrook.

First, the deal itself: Westbrook, the 2024 second-round pick and 2028 second-round pick go to the Lakers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick go to Washington, as first reported by The Athletics’ Shams Charania.

Westbrook is easily the heavyweight in the deal, as a former MVP and nine-time All-Star who’s coming off his third career season averaging a triple-double – 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists in his only season with the Wizards.

Westbrook now goes to his fourth team in four years, and just as curious, he’s aligned with yet another superstar in an effort to develop championship chemistry. There was no payoff in Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and then Paul George, or the Rockets with James Harden, and certainly not the rebuilding Wizards who had little to offer as help besides Bradley Beal.

With the exception of reaching the NBA Finals with Durant — and that happened almost 10 years ago — Westbrook has advanced as far as the conference finals just twice despite those starry tandems.

Westbrook proved last season at age 32 that he’s still a highly productive point guard who plays at a rapid pace. That aids him at reaching the rim for layups, pushing the ball upcourt on the fast break, and out-rebounding taller players even in traffic. It also results in turnovers, too, as a result of his high-risk, high-usage style.

He’ll be teammates with LeBron, a player he respects, and a player who’d be willing to adjust for someone of Westbrook’s caliber. One area where LeBron can and probably must sacrifice is ball-handling. While LeBron assumed that role since arriving in LA three years ago to great success, Westbrook is most effective with the ball. Without it, Westbrook must play off the ball, where his shooting issues become more glaring.

Also, Westbrook has never had a big man with Davis’ talent. Therefore, the change of scenery plus an uptick in the caliber of running partners should trigger something positive within Westbrook, or at least the Lakers hope.

Whether it results in another championship is anyone’s guess, though. LeBron and Davis are coming off a frustrating season because of injuries largely to blame for their first-round playoff exit. Now they’ll get a celebrated third partner who will allow them to recharge and reboot.

The reason for adding Westbrook is clear: The Lakers are doing whatever they can, within the constraints of the salary cap, to give LeBron as many swings at the championship plate as possible. With LeBron entering a 19th season, he’s running out of time to get a fifth ring. And Westbrook is running out of teams.

Source: NBA