Okay. Duke lost to Michigan State in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. What a way for the best college basketball player to end his career with the Duke Blue Devils. Nevertheless, Zion Williamson is slated to be a number one pick in the NBA draft.
Meanwhile, a massive bidding war over his first NBA sneaker is likely. According to ESPN sneaker expert, Nick DePaula
“In my lifetime, I think it’s going to be the biggest bidding war ever done.”
What is the brouhaha all about? Companies like Nike, Adidas and Reebok have always sought top players in their corner. Remember Michael Jordan in 1984, then Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady?
Zion, a soon to be billionaire, will enter the fold shortly at the age of 18. According to Sonny Vaccaro
“He is going to have an opportunity to be the face of every company and every major corporation. He is the most marketable person I’ve seen, for a lot of different reasons.”
It is amazing that Williamson’s first rookie sneaker could rival LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Word has it that James had a seven-year $87 million contract with Nike that has turned into more than one billion. As for Durant, it was all about $60 million with Nike.
Many companies are after Williamson from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance to Puma and Anta. Nick DePaula avows that only nine players in NBA history had a signature shoe so early on. Now 17 players have them and the figure is growing.
Who wouldn’t covet such a hyped and ho0t prospect? He may well surpass Anthony Davis in 2012 or even James in 2003. His fame is legendary already. It was national news when injured his knee in the UNC game. The officials at Nike were alarmed over his ripped shoe. According to DePaula,
“People in the sneaker industry believe Williamson may have a deal before the May 14 draft lottery. Sneaker companies are so high on Williamson that few have concerns about his marketability, regardless of where he ends up in the draft.”