Most Expensive Shoe Deals in NBA: LeBron James Leaps and Bounds Above Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Others

Published 12/19/2020, 5:30 AM EST
LeBron James attends Harlem’s Fashion Row at Capitale on September 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/WireImage)


Every player in the NBA dreams of having their own shoe deal. It is one of the defining points of a player’s career. Unsurprisingly, LeBron James has the most expensive shoe deal in the league currently.

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Predicted to be the next all-time great like Michael Jordan, Bron has lived up to the hype. Along with his on-court success came his massive deal with Nike. It is worth a billion dollars and is a lifetime deal. Very few players get such deals, and LeBron has proved he’s the best and deserves the best.

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Some of the most iconic LeBron shoes that Nike has released are Air Zoom Generation, Air Max LeBron 7 ‘Red Carpet,’ and the LeBron 8 ‘Pre-heat.’

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LeBron James almost signed with Reebok

When he entered the league, LeBron had a lot of hype. He came in straight from high school and was still the best prospect. So not only did he come in with a lot of raw talent but also the popularity that brands wanted to capture.

The three biggest offers he received were Adidas with $60 million, Nike with $87 million, and Reebok with a whopping $115 million. At that time, Reebok was flourishing with Allen Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal as their main stars. On the other hand, Nike’s biggest star was still Jordan, and they had not signed Kobe Bryant yet.

After analyzing both offers, LeBron chose the brand his idol Jordan chose and went with Nike, despite them offering lesser than Reebok. He believed that Nike would be a more reliable option in the long term and that’s what influenced his decision.

Other stars in the top 5

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Kevin Durant ranks second in the most expensive shoe deals. He is also a Nike athlete and has been associated with them since 2007. James Harden and Stephen Curry rank third and fourth, and it’s not a surprise considering both of them have been MVPs in the league.

Dec 14, 2020; Miami, Florida, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) shoots the ball against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

But Zion Williamson at number five is astonishing. It’s almost unbelievable how players like Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, and Giannis Antetokounmpo are ranked below him. Zion’s hype from his Duke days was almost like how LeBron was hyped coming into the league. This has helped him make bank and get that huge $75 million deal with the Jordan Brand.

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Aaron Mathew

1629 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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