How Giannis Antetokounmpo turned down Adidas because of his brother and signed with Nike

Abu Mubarik April 22, 2024
Nigerian-Greek basketball star Giannis Antetokounmpo -- Photo via @Giannis_An34 on Twitter

Giannis Antetokounmpo is a Nigerian-Greek NBA star who signed a record-breaking, five-year supermax contract extension deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2020.

At $228.2 million, this was said to be the largest deal in NBA history, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported. The basketball star’s agent, Alex Saratsis, told ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski that the deal also includes an opt-out after the fourth year.

Antetokounmpo’s rise in the NBA makes him one of Nike’s biggest stars. He has spent his entire career with the brand and has even developed his own shoe line. His partnership with Nike follows a decision he made to ditch Adidas. This was before his NBA career.

According to Antetokounmpo, he first met with the reps of Adidas and as part of the deal, his brother Thanasis, would also receive a contract. However, the brand reneged on this promise in a subsequent meeting.

“He [Adidas rep] brought the contract and put it in front of me, and I’m like, ‘Okay great, where is my brother’s?'” Antetokounmpo said on the Thanalysis Show, according to Bleacher Report. “And he was like ‘We’re not going to sign your brother’s today. You’re going to sign yours and then we’re going to bring your brother in a week to sign his.’ And I was like, ‘Uh uh, no thank you.'”

He noted that his family had financial challenges and as a result, was willing to accept any contract offer that came his way. He, however, noted that he was not willing to sign a contract his brother was not part of.

“At the end of the day, if he had put in front of us some toilet paper and some cash next to it, we probably would’ve signed it because he knew we were in need,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the time we weren’t able to take care of our family in the best way. He knew that, he knew our story… I think maybe the people who work above him tried to take advantage.”

Following his inability to strike a deal with Adidas without his brother in the picture, he turned to Nike. According to him, Nike reps were willing to give his brother a shoe contract.

“It was my turn to speak and I said that it’s important for me for it to be a family thing,” Antetokounmpo said. “When you take me, you take my family, my brother, my mom. And she was like, ‘Yeah, sure, whatever.’ After that, we’ve been with Nike and she’s been by our side ever since.”

Since signing with Nike, he has gone on to win an NBA championship and a pair of MVPs. What is more, he has also launched five signature shoes with Nike.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: April 22, 2024


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