Michael Avenatti continues to take aim at Nike.
On Friday night, the celebrity attorney accused the sportswear giant of bribing Zion Williamson's mother. Avenatti claimed on Twitter that Nike paid Sharonda Sampson for "bogus consulting services" as part of its efforts to steer Zion toward Duke University's Swoosh-sponsored athletic program.
Avenatti, who has been charged with attempting to extort Nike, claims the company made the payments sometime during Williamson's recruitment. He went on to ask Duke's "close friends @Nike to check their Nike Vendor Portal for payments to 'Sharonda Sampson Consulting' starting from 2016.
Avenatti also claimed that over the last four years, Nike executive Carlton DeBose bribed more than 100 other high school players to attend Nike-sponsored schools.
"Nike’s most senior execs knew about it and looked the other way, as did many of the colleges," he tweeted. "Nike also undertook large efforts to hide it from the NCAA & federal investigators. Some colleges lost out on some of the best high school recruits because of Nike’s bribes."
Avenatti has offered no proof to support his claims. Nike issued the following statement to Yahoo! Sports.
"Nike will not respond to the allegations of an individual facing federal charges of fraud and extortion and aid in his disgraceful attempts to distract from the athletes on the court at the height of the tournament," the company said in the statement. "Nike will continue its cooperation with the government's investigation into grassroots basketball and the related extortion case.”
Duke officials said they are aware of the allegations and are "looking into" the matter.
"Every student athlete at Duke is reviewed to ensure their eligibility," Kevin White, Duke’s director of athletics, wrote in a statement to The Chronicle. "With regard to men’s basketball: all recruits and their families are thoroughly vetted by Duke in collaboration with the NCAA through the Eligibility Center’s amateurism certification process."