LeBron James Really Did Get $1 Billion Lifetime Deal From Nike
History was made when LeBron James signed a lifetime deal with Nike back in December. Estimates of the partnership's worth were as much as $1 billion, as hinted by Kanye West's Nike diss track "Facts," but everyone's lips were sealed as to how much the NBA megastar was actually cashing in.
Now, in an interview for the debut issue of GQ Style, James' business manager, Maverick Carter, seemingly says that the Cleveland Cavaliers star's Nike deal really is worth $1 billion. When asked by the reporter how much the deal is worth, Carter says he can't disclose the information, but when questioned specifically about $1 billion, he points his finger skyward, implying that the deal is actually worth more than that.
"It's a fantastic deal," Carter says. "Nike feels great about the deal. That's the most important thing. As great as I feel, as great as LeBron feels—Nike feels fantastic about it. It's the largest deal in the history of the company. Their hope is he makes even more. And our hope is that, too, obviously."
Carter went to high school with James at St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. He has helped the 4-time MVP build his empire, which includes the Nike deal, a Hollywood production company, a scholarship program and the video platform Uninterrupted. He explains how his upbringing has allowed him to become the savvy entrepreneur that he is today.
"It's all a risk. That's the beauty of it," he says of making business decisions. "Some people are just more prepared to take risks than others. I grew up a gambler. That's my name: Maverick. That's what it comes from. My grandmother ran an after-hours joint, and they played cards and shot craps. But you have to know, 'What's my baseline? What's the worst that could happen to me?' And that's what life is all about. Every decision you make, you're simply evaluating risk versus reward."