LeBron James

Michael Jordan remains the GOAT of the sneaker game

Michael Jordan remains the GOAT of the sneaker game

On Wednesday, Forbes released an analysis of the NBA’s top shoe deals, and the field is growing more and more crowded by the year. According to Forbes, 12 active NBA players earn more than $10 million from their sneaker pact (including Zion Williamson, who is slated to earn $13 million before playing his first NBA game). 

But the leader in the clubhouse, to no one’s surprise and by a staggering margin, is Michael Jordan.

Everyone knows that Jordan runs the sneaker game and has for decades, even in spite of his post-retirement foibles as owner of the Charlotte Hornets. Still, the numbers are otherworldly. According to Forbes, Jordan’s total yearly earnings amount to $145 million, with $130 million of that coming from “sneaker income.” For reference, LeBron James pulls in $32 million per year from his shoe deal and $89 million overall when combined with other endorsements and his annual salary. Even without stepping onto the court this season, Jordan is expected to outpace even the highest paid NBA players in earnings by leaps and bounds.

 

It’s quite a feat and a not-so-gentle reminder of the utter stranglehold Jordan, as well as Nike overall, has on the basketball sneaker market. Others can scrap for the dregs of market share they can find, but at the end of the day, MJ stays the GOAT on the court and in the boardroom. 

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Lakers sign Dwight Howard, ending the Joakim Noah-to-LA-possibility

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USA TODAY

Lakers sign Dwight Howard, ending the Joakim Noah-to-LA-possibility

The Los Angeles Lakers were scrambling for another big man in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins torn ACL and Bulls fan were sent into a collective panic at the idea of lifelong LeBron James (and Cleveland) agitator Joakim Noah joining forces with him in Hollywood. 

Following a series of workouts with Noah and veteran centers Mo Speights and Dwight Howard, the Lakers have settled on Howard as their replacement for Cousins. 

Howard was a member of the Washington Wizards before they traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of a deal to acquire wing shooter CJ Miles earlier this offseason. 

Over the 2018-19 season, Howard averaged 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.4 blocks per game and finished with the second-lowest PER (17.4) of his career. Comparatively, Noah played 42 games in 2018-19, averaging 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks per game and posted an 18.6 PER. 

The Lakers deal with Howard is non-guaranteed and the Lakers have all the leverage in the deal as ESPN reported, they will be able to cut Howard before the NBA's January 7 deadline without any financial impact on the team. 

The move reunites Howard with the Lakers, with whom he played 76 games for in the 2012-13 season.

Howard was an All-Star during his first Lakers stint, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds per game but ultimately had an unsuccessful (in terms of championship aspirations) tenure in the purple and gold.

The Howard-to-Lakers deal makes LA's roster full with 15 players in tow, so this officially ends any possibility of Noah teaming up with LeBron. Bulls fans can rejoice, for now. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.

Dwyane Wade says once again that he and LeBron James almost joined the Bulls in 2010

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Dwyane Wade says once again that he and LeBron James almost joined the Bulls in 2010

Dwyane Wade has said this before. Multiple times.

And yet the recently retired shooting guard is making headlines again for repeating that he and LeBron James both seriously considered joining the Bulls in 2010.

Wade spoke with Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson of The Knuckleheads Podcast on Wednesday and said that the pair's decision came down to Miami and Chicago.

"Chicago was on the top of both our lists," he said. "Miami was on the top. We looked at New York."

Wade, of course, didn't join the Bulls. He, James and Chris Bosh - who Wade admitted the Bulls probably didn't have room for and was one of the deciding factors in free agency - teamed up in Miami and won two championships in 2012 and 2013.

Wade eventually returned home in 2016, though he was a shell of himself in 60 games, averaging 18.3 points on 43 percent shooting and 31 percent from beyond the arc. The rebuilding Bulls, who had just traded Jimmy Butler, opted to buy out Wade prior to the 2017-18 season.

During the preseason of Wade's lone year in Chicago, he spoke in length about this exact same topic, telling reporters "(Chicago) is a place I wanted to play. It was a place LeBron also loved. We loved the city of Chicago. It's a great market as well. Obviously, the sunny sun of Miami is great, too. We had two great choices. It pretty much boiled down to what we felt we could build."

Read Vinnie Goodwill's entire story from the first time Wade brought up this topic here.