Michael Jeffrey Jordan built one of the greatest sports brands in history, making millions and spreading his name all over the globe as a face of Nike, athletics, and (of course) NBA basketball.
And while nobody except (maybe) Lebron James has ever come close to that level of fame and fortune off the court, Rich Paul (James' agent) says he could have done great things had he been able to work with the legendary Allen Iverson back in the day. In an appearance on the Cowherd podcast, Paul went so far as to compare what Iverson's legacy could have been to that of Jordan himself.
"Allen Iverson's impact post-Michael Jordan was second-to-none ... Give me Allen Iverson leaving Georgetown, coming into the league, and today Allen Iverson will have a billion-dollar brand," Paul said. "Today Allen Iverson would be positioned much different. Still be a Hall of Famer - I'm not talking about what he did on the floor, because obviously, I mean, we can't even talk about that. He's just a one-of-a-kind person and his impact, his ability, what he could've done in community even though he never done anything for show and he's helped so many people. But the business to be built with Allen Iverson and that would've been still sustainable today, I think would've been neck-and-neck with one of the 'Black Cat' in MJ.
"Look, he had white America wearing cornrows, OK? The arm sleeve. He had such a different impact. I probably would've done things different because I would've said, 'Allen, I'm not focused on the upfront money.' We put too much focus on the upfront money with guys that you can build a business with. I'm building a billion-dollar business with Allen Iverson, there's no question about it. His retro business, with the right product, would probably have been second to Michael’s today."
Iverson was a pretty popular player during his era. His personality, swagger, and polarizing skillset set him apart from a lot of his peers, and many fans gravitated to it. He inspired a whole generation.
And while we will never know what would have happened if he had Rich Paul on his team, his ambitions really do say a lot about how much impact and pull he had during his hey-day.