Arguably the biggest name to enter the NBA since LeBron James may be Duke’s very own Zion Williamson. The hype around the young star has been incredible as he is almost a certainty to be picked as the number one pick of the 2019 Draft.
When LeBron entered the league in 2003, he created the biggest bidding war that the shoe game had ever seen as he signed a $90 million contract with Nike.
Nick DePaula of ESPN reported that there are some who that believe Williamson's first shoe contract could be over $100 million.
"In my lifetime, I think it's going to be the biggest bidding war ever done," said Sonny Vaccaro, a former Nike shoe executive who signed Michael Jordan with the company in 1984. "I would put them all on go."
No rookie since LeBron James has come close to beating that number so it would be an incredible achievement for Zion if he can eclipse it. Nothing is certain as of now but it sure is exciting to see if Williamson can pass James in that sense.
There was great controversy only a month ago when Zion Williamson’s Nike shoe exploded in the opening minutes of a Duke match where Zion suffered an injury. There were many questions about whether this hurts Nike’s chances of signing Williamson after this incident.
The eventual decision on which shoe company that Zion decides to sign with may be just as exciting as who the young superstar will be drafted by.