Damian Lillard has officially re-signed with Adidas for what is reportedly the third most lucrative shoe deal in the NBA after LeBron James and Derrick Rose. Although an exact figure has not been announced, the contract is for 8 years with a possibility for two more if the proper performance incentives are reached. James hauls in $20 million a season from Nike, while Rose’s shoe deal is worth roughly $185 million in total. Lillard’s contract is supposed to be worth just slightly less than Rose’s.
Trail Blazers Beat Reporter Casey Holdahl puts the anticipated figures in perspective:
According to Forbes, the next-largest contract after Rose and James (Forbes actually has Kobe Bryant making $34 million a year from Nike, second-most behind LeBron) is Kevin Durant at $14 million a year (though I’ve heard from multiple sources that Forbes numbers are off by quite a bit). If Lillard’s new deal with adidas is somewhere north of that … wow.
Lillard was able to make his happen by meeting performance incentives in the first two seasons of his initial shoe deal with Adidas (winning rookie of the year/becoming an NBA All-Star). Because of his success, he was allowed to opt out of his old contract in February so companies like Nike and Under Armour could have their go at wooing him. Ultimately, Adidas handled the situation well and made Lillard the best offer. He seemed comfortable with them already, so it’s no big surprise that he’d stick with what has worked for him.
Chris Haynes of CSNNW provides a peek into Lillard’s thought process:
“Adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons. I’ve had the opportunity to wear a lot of great product, help design special versions of shoes, be a part of TV commercials and travel the world with the brand. I’m excited for what the future holds for me and Adidas.”
While I am happy for Lillard, this all seems a bit excessive. Then again, I suppose if you’ve rightfully earned something, there is no reason to argue down to a less eye-popping phantom figure. Good for him. This shoe deal is the biggest piece of publicity Lillard could get for the coming years outside of winning an NBA title, although I’m sure his focus lies with the latter.