Last week, news broke that before his passing last January, Kobe Bryant met with a venture capitalist named, Shervin Pishevar in late 2019.
Apparently the two discussed the possibility of basketball legend leaving Nike to start his own sneaker company called ‘Mamba,’ which would be owned by the players.
Unfortunately, with Bryant passing away due to a helicopter that claimed eight other victims as well, that possibly never saw the light of day. However, it did raise the question, what would happen if other athletes like Michael Jordan left their respected shoe companies?
Former ten-year veteran in the NBA, Cedric Ceballos recently weighed in on if, he thought Michael Jordan would ever leave Nike.
“I don’t know because would he [MJ] want to deal with that and Phil [Knight] worked hard [to put MJ’s deal together]. The most ridiculous deal that was not done was by Spencer Haywood. Him not equity in the company [Nike] I think it was three or five percent, instead took $120K in cash right now he would be a billionaire. Me and Spence joke about it all the time, but it’s just the fact that you never know a company will take off like that,” said Ceballos.
“Sometimes it is great to take a percent instead of the cash, especially when don’t need it, and that time he was one of the highest players in the NBA. He didn’t really need that cash, so that is one of the dilemmas where he said, that he made a big mistake.”
When he was 24, Spencer Haywood reportedly was offered two options by Nike in exchange for the promoting their shoes receive $100,000 in cash, or a 10% interest in the business, according to the Boston Globe.
If this is the case, then Haywood would have roughly around $8.6 billion, according to Forbes evaluation of the sneaker company.
His agent elected to take the money instead of stock in order to get his fee, “But in this case, he wanted to get paid,” he said.
However, Hayward killed the rumors that it was a billion dollar deal, that his agent cost him.
“The deal was nowhere near no billions of dollars,” he said. “It was embellished. I didn’t lose no billions of dollars, but I would have been a pretty rich dude. He had the power of attorney that I had signed over to him because I couldn’t travel and do all of the work, so [I felt I] had to give him the power of attorney. While I was on the road, he just renegotiated and got his money.”