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Jordan never wanted to sign with Nike...

tzedek

Original Member
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#1
I never wanted to sign with Nike. I had been an adidas fanatic since high school. In fact, I didn't even want to meet with Nike. In the summer of 1984, I had been flying all over the country for various awards banquets, the Bulls, and the Olympics. I was tired of traveling. When it came time to meet with Nike, I told everyone, my agent David Falk, Coach Smith, even my parents, that I wasn't going. I had no intention of signing with Nike and I had no desire to fly to Portland, Oregon.

My parents finally sat me down and said "This is important. You need to listen to what those people have to say." I felt like I was dragged out of Oregon to listen to something I had no intention of acting upon. So I walk into the meeting and there's Rob Stasser, Phil Knight, Tinker Hatfield, Jack George, Peter Moore, and Howard White. Now I'm pleased about being there and I'm barely listening. But Strasser got my attention. They were talking about giving me my own shoe and effectively redefining the entire athletic shoe industry. Strasser did most of the talking. He was a big guy, smooth, energetic, and motivating. Still, I was skeptical because I didn't even like Nike shoes. The money was substantial for that time, $250,000 a year for five years with an annuity, incentives, and royalties on all Nike basketball-related items. It was a great deal, but it also was risky because no one in the industry had done anything like that. Julius Erving became indentified with a specific shoe, but he was never compensated the way I was going to be. Growing up, everyone would say, "I want a pair of Dr.J's." They were Converse shoes. In retrospect, they squeezed the equity out of Julius Erving without ever paying for it. The meeting was interesting, but when it ended I'm thinking, "Fine, now let's go see what Converse has in mind. Then I'm going to sign with Adidas."

Before I went to Converse I talked to Bill Sweek, a sales rep from Adidas I had met at North Carolina. I did this on my own. No one including Falk, knew about the meeting with Bill, I told him what Nike was offering and said, "All you have to do is come close." In the meantime I had to see Converse, which was a very traditional, conservative company. Converse had Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Mark Aguirre, Dr.J, all the top players. But I had some experience with Converse because we wore them for games at North Carolina and I felt obligated to listen. Their offer was pennies compared to the dimes Nike was offering. They were afraid of making an exception with me, which I understood.

My heart was still with Adidas, but they never made an offer. The decision was a lot easier for Nike. The company's stock had dropped by more than half and was down around $6 a share in 1984. Strasser had to take a gamble. And he did. He wanted to change the entire market by betting on one person. Nike didn't have a second choice. He was a genius. It worked.
-M.J.

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Captain 151

Seeped in a dry Merlot
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#3
Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players ever, and let me tell you, if I were as good as he was, I'd sign a multimillion dollar deal with a stupid little shoe company too.
 

LiberatioN

Trance Addict
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#4
If adidas didnt make an offer, i think a couple million dollars would suffice me being called a ''sell-out''...it's different for the music industry in the terms of a "sell-out". The reason being that MJ still did his thing on the court, he didnt change who he was just cuz he signed with Nike (except maybe the shoes he wore on the court). Musicians often "sell out" when they change their style due to what a corporation tells them to put out...that's where I draw the line.

I see no problem with this decision, but I think people give Jordan a little more credit than he deserves sometimes. He was a great player, but there were many that were right up there with him that got/get much less credit than he did.
 

Janglenut

Particinator
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#5
^ Are yyou deranged? Tell me a basketball player that was near Jordan's skill and class and I'll just laugh at you.
 

fuck_you

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#6
_Kitana_ said:
so he kind of was a sell out
How could he sell out to a offer that was never there?
 

Icarus

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#7
Janglenut said:
^ Are yyou deranged? Tell me a basketball player that was near Jordan's skill and class and I'll just laugh at you.
:rolleyes:

You make quite a conveinent ass out of yourself.

Hakeem Olajuwon. Scottie Pippen. Grant Hill, in his prime. Jordan was good. But he was not a God.
 

LiberatioN

Trance Addict
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#8
Thanks for the support, Icarus :thumbsup:

You guys are forgetting some of the greats that came before Jordan.

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr J., Wilt Chamberlain, etc.

Whoever made that comment about me being derranged, I know enough about basketball to hold a discussion. Please don't belittle me, you'll just get embarrassed. :mfinger:
 

Captain 151

Seeped in a dry Merlot
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#9
I know less about basketball than i do the other 3 major sports (football, baseball, hockey) but I do know that hardly anybody garnered the same mystique and awe than Jordan did. Yes, Chamberlain scored 100 in a game, but the game was completely different back then. It was even different when Bird and Johnson played.

When Jordan came into the league, the NBA began the transition from a team game (5 on 5) to street ball (1 on 1 with 5 players). Personally, to watch an NBA classic game (like the Celtics/Lakers) is almost vintage. The game now is so terrible, I can't almost bear to watch it.
 

ChilianFuckFace

Banned - What an Asshat!
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#11
I fucking hate nike too. I love Adidas products. Plus Adidas is an official sponsor of the World Cup. The greatest event ever invented! :D
 

LiberatioN

Trance Addict
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#12
Ya but the argument wasnt that Jordan was the most inspiring player ever, it was that he was the best. I'd agree with you that he brought the most "razzle dazzle" to the game...today basketball is kinda boring to watch sometimes. It's all becoming a business where whoever is willing to pay more for the best players will get them; there's no sense of pride anymore. :(
 

Icarus

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#14
I like the occasional loyalty. It's nice in this age of $100+ million contracts where nobody will stick with a team that isn't going to pay them top dollar.

An exception is K.G. That guy took a pay cut so his team could afford to put better players around him. Good move :thumbsup:

tbrsk said:
When Jordan came into the league, the NBA began the transition from a team game (5 on 5) to street ball (1 on 1 with 5 players). Personally, to watch an NBA classic game (like the Celtics/Lakers) is almost vintage. The game now is so terrible, I can't almost bear to watch it.
Not true. The Kings, The Suns, The Mavericks, The Spurs, The Celtics, The Pistons, The Magic, and many other teams play team basketball. Just because it isn't the triangle or a motion doesn't mean it's not team ball.
 

Captain 151

Seeped in a dry Merlot
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#15
Icarus said:
Not true. The Kings, The Suns, The Mavericks, The Spurs, The Celtics, The Pistons, The Magic, and many other teams play team basketball. Just because it isn't the triangle or a motion doesn't mean it's not team ball.
Eh, you would know more than I would because I never watch basketball anymore. I'm sick of seeing selfish players like Iverson and Bryant, et al.
 

Janglenut

Particinator
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#16
Icarus said:
:rolleyes:

You make quite a conveinent ass out of yourself.

Hakeem Olajuwon. Scottie Pippen. Grant Hill, in his prime. Jordan was good. But he was not a God.

Olajuwon doesn't compare to Jordan in the least bit.

Scottie Pippen was a support players of MJ's, who put up bigger numbers and who was the leader of the bulls?

Grant Hill; I would know this considering I am from Detroit. Grant Hill doesn't come CLOSE to comparing to MJ. Sure, Grant Hill is a good player and all but he doesn't have half of the ability Jordan has.

Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Dr J., Wilt Chamberlain, etc.
All of these players came out of an era in basketball where the players weren't half as sound as they are today. Today's basketball players are on average better than those of the past, but the simple fact of the matter is you have to think, if Jordan dominated in a league with more skill and competition and formed one of basketballs best dynasties. (LA and Boston ...don't bitch. ;) )

Eh, you would know more than I would because I never watch basketball anymore. I'm sick of seeing selfish players like Iverson and Bryant, et al.
YEP, I agree with you. I loved watching the Bull's dynasty when I was younger due to the fact that they played with class. I hate watching Iverson, who is nothing more than a punk; and Kobe's whining ass. (Should be in Jail)
 

Icarus

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#17
Janglenut said:
Olajuwon doesn't compare to Jordan in the least bit.
Hakeem once completed a quadruple double. I think that's fuckin' insane. Jordan never did it.

Janglenut said:
Scottie Pippen was a support players of MJ's, who put up bigger numbers and who was the leader of the bulls?
And when M.J. retired the first time, who was it that had an MVP-caliber season? Ever stop to think Jordan was holding Pippen back a little bit?

Janglenut said:
Grant Hill; I would know this considering I am from Detroit. Grant Hill doesn't come CLOSE to comparing to MJ. Sure, Grant Hill is a good player and all but he doesn't have half of the ability Jordan has.
Not anymore, he doesn't. But before he got injured, everybody said that he was the next Michael Jordan. They say that for a reason.

JangleDouche said:
All of these players came out of an era in basketball where the players weren't half as sound as they are today. Today's basketball players are on average better than those of the past, but the simple fact of the matter is you have to think, if Jordan dominated in a league with more skill and competition and formed one of basketballs best dynasties. (LA and Boston ...don't bitch. ;) )
You are right that today's league is more competitive, but that's just because of the cumulative nature of man's knowledge about the game.

Everybody turned Jordan into a God. Look, people. There was nothing that mystifying. His outstanding trait was that he was simply the quickest guy on the floor, so quick that nobody can guard him. He isn't magic.
 

Janglenut

Particinator
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#18
Olajuwon averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds his very first season, finishing as runner up to Jordan in the Rookie of the Year voting, as he was the only other rookie to garner votes.
YEAR TEAM G GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% OFF DEF TOT APG SPG BPG PPG
84-85 Chi 82 82 38.3 .515 .173 .845 2.0 4.5 6.5 5.9 2.39 0.84 28.2
Jordan's sure do look better, and he got the rookie of the year. However, this is not taking away from Olajauwon, who was one of the best at his position. But Jordan, not only was the best at his position, he also is the best to ever play the game.

Oh yes, by the way; Olajauwon's Quad double had 18 points, Jordan may never of hit it, but you have to consider the fact that he is a guard. Guards usually don't accumulate blocks and boards...so that takes away 2 possibles.

On the topic of Pippen, he was a great basketball player. But, did his "MVP caliber season" even compare to Mj's? And, without learnign from MJ's playstyle, I don't believe Pippen would've grown into the player he was. MJ was not only a great player, but he made those around him great.

On Grant Hill, if you watched the Pistons like I did growing up; you would've seen Hill as a great player; however he didn't have the take-over-the-game presence that Jordan commanded.
 

Janglenut

Particinator
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#19
84-85 HOU 82 82 35.5 .538 .000 .613 5.40 6.50 11.90 1.4 1.21 2.68 2.85 4.20 20.6
85-86 HOU 68 68 36.3 .526 .000 .645 4.90 6.60 11.50 2.0 1.97 3.40 2.87 4.00 23.5
86-87 HOU 75 75 36.8 .508 .200 .702 4.20 7.20 11.40 2.9 1.87 3.39 3.04 3.90 23.4
87-88 HOU 79 79 35.8 .514 .000 .695 3.80 8.30 12.10 2.1 2.05 2.71 3.08 4.10 22.8
88-89 HOU 82 82 36.9 .508 .000 .696 4.10 9.40 13.50 1.8 2.60 3.44 3.35 4.00 24.8
89-90 HOU 82 82 38.1 .501 .167 .713 3.60 10.40 14.00 2.9 2.12 4.59 3.85 3.80 24.3
90-91 HOU 56 50 36.8 .508 .000 .769 3.90 9.80 13.80 2.3 2.16 3.95 3.11 3.90 21.2
91-92 HOU 70 69 37.7 .502 .000 .766 3.50 8.60 12.10 2.2 1.81 4.34 2.67 3.80 21.6
92-93 HOU 82 82 39.5 .529 .000 .779 3.50 9.60 13.00 3.5 1.83 4.17 3.20 3.70 26.1
93-94 HOU 80 80 41.0 .528 .421 .716 2.90 9.10 11.90 3.6 1.60 3.71 3.39 3.60 27.3
94-95 HOU 72 72 39.6 .517 .188 .756 2.40 8.40 10.80 3.5 1.85 3.36 3.29 3.50 27.8
95-96 HOU 72 72 38.8 .514 .214 .724 2.40 8.40 10.90 3.6 1.57 2.88 3.43 3.40 26.9
96-97 HOU 78 78 36.6 .510 .313 .787 2.20 7.00 9.20 3.0 1.50 2.22 3.60 3.20 23.2
97-98 HOU 47 45 34.7 .483 .000 .755 2.50 7.30 9.80 3.0 1.79 2.04 2.68 3.20 16.4
98-99 HOU 50 50 35.7 .514 .308 .717 2.10 7.40 9.60 1.8 1.64 2.46 2.78 3.20 18.9
99-00 HOU 44 28 23.8 .458 .000 .616 1.50 4.80 6.20 1.4 .93 1.59 1.66 2.00 10.3
00-01 HOU 58 55 26.6 .498 .000 .621 2.10 5.30 7.40 1.2 1.21 1.52 1.40 2.40 11.9
01-02 TOR 61 37 22.6 .464 .000 .560 1.60 4.40 6.00 1.1 1.21 1.48 1.61 2.40 7.1
Career 1,238 1,186 35.7 .512 .202 .712 3.30 7.80 11.10 2.5 1.75 3.09 2.96 3.50 21.8
Playoff 145 140 39.6 .528 .222 .719 3.20 7.90 11.20 3.2 1.69 3.26 2.92 3.90 25.9
All-Star 12 8 22.5 .409 1.000 .520 3.20 4.70 7.80 1.4 1.25 1.92 2.17 2.60 9.8
84-85 Chi 167 367 534 481 196 69 2313
85-86 Chi 23 41 64 53 37 21 408
86-87 Chi 166 264 430 377 236 125 3041
87-88 Chi 139 310 449 485 259 131 2868
88-89 Chi 149 503 652 650 234 65 2633
89-90 Chi 143 422 565 519 227 54 2753
90-91 Chi 118 374 492 453 223 83 2580
91-92 Chi 91 420 511 489 182 75 2404
92-93 Chi 135 387 522 428 221 61 2541
94-95 Chi 25 92 117 90 30 13 457
95-96 Chi 148 395 543 352 180 42 2491
96-97 Chi 113 369 482 352 140 44 2431
97-98 Chi 130 345 475 283 141 45 2357
01-02 Was 50 289 339 310 85 26 1375
02-03 Was 71 426 497 311 123 39 1640
Career 1668 5004 6672 5633 2514 893 32292
Playoff 305 847 1152 1022 376 158 5987
All-Star 22 39 61 54 37 6 262
Jordan's sure do look better, and he got the rookie of the year. However, this is not taking away from Olajauwon, who was one of the best at his position. But Jordan, not only was the best at his position, he also is the best to ever play the game.

Oh yes, by the way; Olajauwon's Quad double had 18 points, Jordan may never of hit it, but you have to consider the fact that he is a guard. Guards usually don't accumulate blocks and boards...so that takes away 2 possibles.

On the topic of Pippen, he was a great basketball player. But, did his "MVP caliber season" even compare to Mj's? And, without learnign from MJ's playstyle, I don't believe Pippen would've grown into the player he was. MJ was not only a great player, but he made those around him great.

On Grant Hill, if you watched the Pistons like I did growing up; you would've seen Hill as a great player; however he didn't have the take-over-the-game presence that Jordan commanded.
 

Icarus

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#20
Alright, so if I can't sell you on any of those players...

What about Wilt Chamberlin? This guy averaged a triple-double over an entire SEASON. He was so dominant, that he did whatever he wanted on the basketball court: A reporter was trash talking him and said Wilt wasn't a great player. The reporter cited that he'd never won a rebounding title. So wilt told him before the season "I'm going to win the rebounding title," and lo and behold, he won the rebounding title, increasing his rebounding average nearly five per game. He accomplished a feat that's never even been approached, scoring 100 points in a game.

:rolleyes: