Reebok Tried to Give LeBron $10 Million to Stop Him From Meeting With Adidas or Nike

LeBron James says Reebok offered him $10 million to say no to meetings with Adidas and Nike.

LeBron James Profile Basketball Hoop
Image via Nike
LeBron James Profile Basketball Hoop

It's no secret that LeBron James was being courted by a number of sneaker brands before he entered the NBA in 2003. In a video at Uninterrupted, James talks candidly about that time in his career, describing an aggressive move Reebok made to try and lock him down.

The story goes that Reebok's then-CEO Paul Fireman wrote James a $10 million check to try and convince him to sign with the brand on the spot and forgo future meetings with Adidas and Nike.

"I was lost for words at the beginning," James says. "Shit, we flew in—I flew in from Akron, Ohio, from the projects. Our rent is like $17 a month, and now I'm looking at a $10 million check." He underlines how surreal the experience was by mentioning how he went back to class at his high school the next day.

James of course passed on the deal and eventually signed with Nike. In 2015, he cemented his relationship with the brand by signing a lifetime contract.

Watch LeBron James recount this important moment in footwear history here.