The biggest sneaker deals in NBA history involve the league’s biggest superstars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry.
These lucrative shoe deals are life-changing for those players as they bag millions of dollars (sometimes even higher than their yearly salary!). Talk about getting paid and living the dream of having a signature sneaker.
Biggest sneaker deals in NBA history
Now, let’s take a look at the top 7 biggest sneaker deals in NBA history.
$13,000,000 per year
At this time, huge brands such as Adidas, Puma, and Nike banked on Zion as the next generational talent—comparing him to LeBron James. With a huge investment like this, Jordan Brand clearly believes that he will become the face of the NBA for years to come.
In 2021, Jordan Brand announced Zion’s first-ever signature sneaker, the Zion 1. It wasn’t long after they signed him back in 2019 that the brand started to conceptualize his first-ever signature sneaker. The 1x all-star is well on his way to superstardom and more numbered signature lines will be built for him.
$14,000,000 per year
In 2015, James Harden signed with Adidas a 13-year contract worth over $200 million.
Clearly, he was Adidas’ biggest NBA star and one of their biggest sneaker deals ever to a basketball athlete. Harden had been with Nike previously, as seen with the Nike Hyperchase line, but ultimately decided to be with Adidas.
At age 31, Harden is still one of the best scorers in the league and has no signs of slowing down. His signature sneaker line, the Harden volume series, is one of the best basketball shoes for Adidas in the market.
$16,000,000 per year
Kobe Bryant was one of the most iconic and most impactful players in the past two decades. After his first three championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, he switched from Adidas to Nike. His earnings from Nike and other endorsements are much bigger than his entire salary earned in the NBA.
While his contract with Nike just ended last month, we won’t forget that his line is one of the best signature sneakers in history. The epitome of hard work and dedication is what his shoes are all about.
Brand: Under Armour
$20,000,000 per year
Stephen Curry is clearly the face of Under Armour, even up to this date. Back in 2013, Under Armour signed him as their main star in basketball shoes. During this time, Curry declined Nike’s offer because of two reasons; Nike mispronouncing his name and mentioning Kevin Durant in one of the slides in their presentation.
Clearly, Nike wasn’t laser-focused with Curry as their next big star.
After 2 years, Under Armour then extended his contract until 2024 that could be worth billions. And in 2021, the two-time MVP launched his own brand, the Curry Brand, which features the new look of his signature series.
$26,000,000 per year
In Kevin Durant’s rookie year, Nike signed him to a 7-year deal worth $60 million. He was then won rookie of the year and MVP awards. In 2014, he resigned with Nike on a 10-year deal worth up to $300 million.
His signature sneaker is still up nowadays, releasing his 14th signature sneaker just weeks ago.
$32,000,000 per year
LeBron James signed with Nike a shoe deal worth $87 million in his rookie year. Even after being offered by Reebok a whopping $115 million, he opted for Nike instead.
Drafted out of high school, Nike believed that he’d become one of the greatest ever to play the game. And in 2015, he signed a lifetime deal with Nike which can worth up to $1 billion.
$130,000,000 per year
In 1984, Michael Jordan signed with Nike a 5-year $500,000 sneaker deal.
This move by Nike propelled them as the number one sneaker brand in the whole world. For decades, they dominated the shoe game, having the Air Jordan as their best selling sneakers.
Today, the Jordan Brand is worth more than $3 billion dollars.
Even after two decades, the Air Jordan sneakers are still dominant in the shoe game. The iconic shoes he wore during his time in the NBA were always flocked and sold out minutes after release. The same trend will continue for the foreseeable future.