Michael Jordan was one decision away from having a completely different legacy when it comes to shoes. Jordan and his signature shoes are worldwide famous, but that could've been completely different if he didn't listen to his agent, David Falk, and his mother.
During his rookie year, MJ had no interest in signing with Nike since they weren't as famous and big as they are right now.
"I wanted Michael to go with Nike because they were the upstart," Michael's former agent David Falk said in 'The Last Dance'. "I couldn't even get him to get on the damn plane to visit the campus, so I called his parents."
After Falk called MJ's parents, things changed a little bit for him.
"My mother said, 'you're going to go listen. You may not like it, but you're going to go listen,'" Jordan recalls. She made me get on that plane and go listen."
Falk did his best trying to get everything Michael needed in that contract, including his own signature shoe.
"Our firm ProServ had a lot of very high profile tennis clients like Jimmy Connors, Stan Smith, and Arthur Ashe," Falk said. "Arthur Ashe had his own shoes and tennis racket. So the strategy was to try and take a team sport player and treat him more like a golfer, boxer or tennis player, and the very first deal was shoes."
In the end, Nike agreed to Falk's demands, gave Jordan his own signature shoe as well as a $250 contract. Flash forward, we know that was the best decision for everybody. MJ became a cultural icon with his shoes, he made a ton of money out of them and he'll probably never stop doing so.
"Nike's expectation was at the end of year four they hoped to sell $3 million of Air Jordans," Falk said. "In year one we sold $126 million."
Good thing Falk called Jordan's mother when he didn't want to listen. Imagine how weird would be the world without the Air Jordans and all the collaborations other NBA stars and celebrities have.