In the ongoing and never ending battle between clothing companies to sign the top athletes, Adidas are trying to make a big play for James Harden, making him an offer he can’t refuse to leave Nike.
Harden is reportedly being offered $200 million over the course of 13 years by Adidas, which is about half of what the brand paid for 11 seasons as the NBA’s official uniform supplier. Adidas won’t renew its deal with the NBA, as Nike will take over after the 2016-17 season as the official uniform supplier of the league.
We’ve invited James Harden to join Adidas. We’re a brand of creators and he truly embodies what that means with his approach to the game, his look and his style on and off the court. He’s coming off a historic season where he won the scoring title and was voted MVP by his peers. His connection with fans is unparalleled and unprecedented and he can take the game, our brand and the industry to new heights.
Adidas isn’t too strong of competitors to Nike when it comes to NBA stars. Derrick Rose is the marquee name, but he’s been injured for most of the time since signing with them in 2012. Damian Lillard is a rising star, but doesn’t play in a big market, and the Portland Trail Blazers don’t seem like a team that’s going to make noise next season. John Wall, another point guard All-Star on the Adidas brand, saw his first signature Adidas line fell relatively flat this year.
Under Armour took Stephen Curry from Nike, who are reportedly “angry” at the loss. Kevin Durant signed with Nike on a massive deal. Harden is pretty much the only veteran Adidas have a chance of “poaching” at the moment and are willing to overpay for the Houston Rockets star. This past year, Adidas fell to the No. 3 best-selling apparel brand in the United States, after being passed by Under Armour.
Meanwhile, Nike signed the top 2 draft picks, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, to their stable. Adidas, in the meantime, added two other rookies to their brand: Justise Winslow and Kelly Oubre Jr.