The good folks at TMZ are always looking for an explosive story.
Their latest “news” piece once again looks to cause a stir by pitting James Harden against adidas, just a week before his new 13-year endorsement deal is set to begin.
Harden was spotted leaving a hotel recently in Roshe Runs — which makes perfect sense since he’s still under contract with Nike until September 30th. If he did wear adidas before then, Nike could sue him for breach of contract.
So there’s nothing remotely controversial about that.
Did James just recently sign a massive 13-year endorsement deal worth up to $200 Million with The Three Stripes? Sure. As we found out in our exclusive interview with adidas Basketball General Manager Chris Grancio, they couldn’t be more excited.
Here’s TMZ’s framing of the current thinking at the adidas Village, misleadingly written as a make-believe quotation from a HQ-based source:
So, here’s how this plays back at Adidas HQ — “Our poster boy thinks Nike is better … ’cause he keeps wearing them even though we’re paying him $200 MILLION!!!!”
Which begs the question — who’s gettin’ fired?!?
That couldn’t be more off base and is simply irresponsible. Nobody is getting fired.
The best case scenario would be for James to wear subtly branded designer sneakers from now until October 1st, which some players have done in the past during an in-between month before a deal with a new brand begins.
Either way, Harden and adidas will happily activate their new partnership on October 1st, which is next Thursday, and they’ll eventually launch signature product together annually for the foreseeable future. Until then, there’s nothing to see here except for your standard faux controversy click bait.