Rose declined to answer how close he was to retirement during his nearly two-week absence from the Cavs, nor would he disclose his whereabouts during that time. He was adamant, however, that the reported $80 million remaining on his Adidas contract, which he was in jeopardy of losing should he have decided to walk away from the NBA for good, was not his motivating factor in his return. “Man, I don’t care about — not to be rude — I don’t care about no f—ing money,” Rose said. “It’s not about that. I’ve saved up enough money. It’s not about that. If I wanted to leave, I would have left. Like I said, coming back here, starting with rehab, that’s my first step. Keeping it simple and just giving my team support and then I’ll see what I see off the court.”
LaVar Ball told ESPN that none of the three big companies — Nike, Adidas and Under Armour — wanted to do a deal with him, at least under the terms he was asking for. “We’ve said from the beginning, we aren’t looking for an endorsement deal,” LaVar said. “We’re looking for co-branding, a true partner.” In a marketing case study that will be cited for decades to come, Lonzo Ball eschewed a traditional sneaker endorsement deal — bypassing at least a guaranteed four-year, $10 million deal, according to industry sources. As legend goes, LaVar had a rather steep asking price in negotiations with brands.
Adidas, which sponsored UCLA this past season along with the Chino Hills (Calif.) High School basketball team that features younger Ball brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo, has yet to formally discuss a shoe deal with Ball Sports Group. “It’s not dead yet,” a brand source told The Vertical. An official meeting would potentially take place in the coming weeks, with the brand not yet ruling out making a standard endorsement offer.
Lonzo has received preliminary interest over the past year from the three current major sneaker brands outfitting NBA players: Nike, adidas and Under Armour. None of the brands have expressed a direct interest in LaVar’s “co-branding partnership” concept, which would license the family’s Big Baller Brand for Lonzo’s footwear to then be manufactured by a partner, multiple industry sources told The Vertical.
Sole Collector: adidas is planning to release a new Ultra Boost celebrating the LGBTQ community. pic.twitter.com/Kk7afzATw7