BEN Simmons, considered a lock as one of the top two picks in the 2016 NBA draft, confirmed he has chosen to sign up with Nike over adidas, in what’s reported to be one of the largest rookie endorsement deals behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Simmons, the all-around forward who played one season at LSU, made the announcement on UNINTERRUPTED’s Twitter account on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
And according to a report by The Vertical’s Shams Charania, this marks the first time Nike outbid adidas in a one-on-one battle for a prized incoming rookie. Adidas usually offers twice as much than Nike and was first to have reportedly gotten Simmons’ nod. But Charania says Nike must have increased their proposal to lure Simmons who is said to have the potential to be a point forward like James or Draymond Green.
In his lone season with LSU, Simmons has indeed shown his potential in averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 2 steals. With more work on his jump shot and defense, Simmons could be one of the NBA’s next superstars, and Nike is banking on it with a confidence-boosting contract.
Nike also continued its streak of signing top young talent after snatching up the league’s top two picks last year in Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and LA Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell.