According to a person with knowledge of the situation, James' lifetime shoe deal that was revealed on Monday is worth significantly more than the $500 million that has been speculated in some media reports and — at the current rate of sales — is also worth more than $30 million on an annual basis. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the financial terms.
While an exact figure hasn't been disclosed, it’s quite clear that King James — who at 30 years of age became Nike’s first lifetime client in the company’s 44-year history — is the sneaker king of the NBA.
James’ deal comes after a string of huge-money shoe deals that have set a new standard in the market, with Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard signing a deal with an eight-year base that can be worth well over $100 million, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant signing a 10-year, $300 million deal with Nike four months later and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden signing a 13-year, $200 million deal with Adidas in August.
The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry extended his deal with Under Armour to 2024 in September, though the terms of the deal have not been disclosed.