Which sneaker company will Nick Young be signing with? In his own words, whoever pays him, and adidas may be the brand ponying up the cash to add a little swag to their basketball roster. In tonight’s exhibition against Maccabi Haifa, Young was spotted wearing the adidas D Lillard 1 in black, a big change from his usual Jordan retros and Kobe PEs. Mutual interest between adidas and Young has been reported, but an official announcement has not been made.
This project has actually been four years in the making, and like most of his endeavors, Wade has been heavily involved. “I’m not out there stomping the grapes, but I got together with Jayson Pahlmeyer, who makes unbelievable wine, and that was the first thing: get with a winemaker that’s had great success,” he said at an event to promote his appearance on the cover of Ocean Drive Magazine. “I was able to go out to Napa Valley and learn more about wine, taste a lot of different wines, and understand about different types of grapes and go see the vineyard and everything.”
Why wine, of all things? “It was different for me,” he said. “I knew at some point down the line I wanted to be in the wine business. It happened quicker than I expected. It’s just something that I looked at for the future as far as what kind brand I want to build. I want to be in ‘class’ and I look at wine as ‘class.’
Wade finds a way to do it all, which is why as soon as you ask about his post-basketball life he responds with: “I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t want to be tied down to one thing.” That’s already the case in partnerships across the board with Li-Ning, Gatorade, Pepperidge Farm, Hublot, Mission Athletecare, Stance, The Tie Bar, Pahlmeyer Wine, and Get It Hoops. Plus his stint on ESPN had people wondering if more television work was in his future. “I do it because it’s something that I wanted to try and I had fun with it,” he says of his brief stint in broadcasting. “I’m a pro at my experience. I know how to talk about basketball in the way that I see it and I do it. If that’s something that someone likes and wants, then that’s a different conversation.”
LeBron James has decided to leave guaranteed endorsement income on the table for a potentially much bigger piece of the pie down the road. James has decided not to renew his option with McDonald’s; he will lend his name and marketing power to fast-casual pizza franchise Blaze. In 2012, James became an original investor in the parent company, which is one of the stronger players in the assembly-line pizza concept.