James Harden signed a $200 million endorsement deal with Adidas that officially begins on Oct. 1, at which time the Houston Rockets shooting guard must stop wearing his Nike shoes.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell notes Mark King, president of Adidas North America, said “that’s part of the deal.”
“The difference between football and basketball is that a guy like Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a walk-around shoe. Harden does, and he will be in our lifestyle stuff.”
Adidas forbidding Harden from rocking his collection of Air Jordans—which TMZ recently spotted him wearing—seems a little ridiculous on the surface. After all, it’s just a pair of shoes.
But consider this: If a company agreed to pay you a staggering $200 million over 13 years and one stipulation was to exclusively wear that particular brand, you probably wouldn’t have a problem avoiding the competitors.
Without a doubt, the impending ban on Harden’s non-Adidas shoes is annoying, but that’s simply part of the contract. Harden ought to follow through once Oct. 1 arrives and live the three-stripe life, lest he subject himself to a termination of the massive shoe deal.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Harden can’t run around his house in Air Jordans. He just might need to implement a no-picture policy.