James Harden inked a new deal with Adidas for a meager $200 million. That’s a nice little chunk of change to supplement his meager NBA income. I mean, after all, a man’s gotta eat, right?
But then he was caught out in public wearing Nike’s and the world went nuts. Was it a swipe at Adidas? ESPN’s Darren Rovell wrote about the incident:
Endorsing a competitor could be grounds for termination. In 2001, Reebok — which is now owned by Adidas — ended its deal with Shawn Kemp after he told a newspaper reporter that the shoes of today weren’t made as well and that his favorite pair of shoes were Nikes. Both sides sued each other, which ultimately led to a settlement.
And then after Harden reported he had smoothed things over, he was out wearing Nikes again. And again, the world reacted like he was biting the hand that was paying him $200 million. TMZ reported:
As we previously reported, Adidas made it clear to Harden last week they were pissed the NBA star was spotted in Air Jordans … after inking him to a HUGE endorsement contract.
Harden told TMZ Sports he smoothed things over with Adidas … and even though his contract doesn’t go into effect until October 1st … he was on board and bragged about the company is about to BLOW UP!!
Fast forward to today … with Harden back in Swoosh kicks.
So, here’s how this plays back at Adidas HQ — “Our poster boy thinks Nike is better … ’cause he keeps wearing them even though we’re paying him $200 MILLION!!!!”
Which begs the question — who’s gettin’ fired?!?
But now, Harden’s addressing all the nonsense directly, and clarifying that he is still under contract. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweeted:
Harden in Nikes today. "I’m still under contract with NIke. I’m waiting for that day, I can start representing (Adidas)."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) September 28, 2015
That should be simple enough for TMZ to understand. There never was any danger of Harden losing his contract; he’s just still under a contract. When you give your employer your two-week notice, you still work for them for two more weeks. In actuality, if Harden were walking about sporting Adidas right now, he’d be in violation of his Nike contract.
It’s time to put this fake controversy to bed.