In recent weeks, the No. 1 overall draft pick has been spotted at NBA Summer League games wearing a variety of brands including Jordan, Nike, and Puma. This led to much assumption over where he’d eventually land, but today Williamson and Jordan Brand made things official.
"I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson said in a press release. "Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”
Michael Jordan himself weighed in on the signing, noting Williamson's determination, character and play in the press release. "He’s an essential part of the new talent that will help lead the brand into the future. He told us he would ‘shock the world,’ and asked us to believe him. We do," said Jordan.
According to Forbes, an industry source says the deal is worth $75 million over seven years. By comparison, lifetime Nike endorser LeBron James signed a seven-year deal worth $100 million in 2003.
Williamson, of course, has a storied past with Jordan Brand’s parent company, Nike. In February, his Nike PG 2.5 sneakers came apart on the court during Duke’s primetime game against rival UNC. The incident dominated sneaker and sports headlines for weeks, with Nike later sending a team to China to manufacture a sturdier shoe that could withstand his stature and strength.
Williamson was selected first in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.