Ben Simmons is set to sit with the two sneaker powerhouses this week. Both Nike and Adidas are vying to sign the 19-year-old rookie prospect who is projected to be among the top picks, if not the No. 1 pick, in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Simmons will be sitting with the Adidas on Thursday at Los Angeles. Following this meeting, Simmons will sit with Nike over the weekend, as reported by the Fox Sports.
Experts feel that Simmons is tilting a bit towards Nike due to multiple reasons.
Rich Paul, Simmons’ agent is well connected in Beaverton, Oregon, the home of the sneakers giants, Nike. And LeBron James is another factor too in this regard. It’s no secret that the 19-year-old considers LBJ as his role model, and the two have been sharing a close relationship.
James played a key role in convincing Simmons to sign a deal with the Klutch Sports Group, and it’s widely expected that the 4-time MVP will play a similar role in Nike’s pitch to strike a deal with the rookie.
In December 2015, James himself signed a lifetime deal with Nike. From Nike’s point of view, they are considering Simmons as arguably the most marketable player of this draft class.
There are more “connections” with Nike from Simmons perspective. Simmons attended an elite Nike’s school- Florida’s Montverde Academy’s and played for Each 1 Teach 1 (E1T1) on Nike’s AAU circuits. The top projected pick of this NBA draft’s next step of career also involved another Nike school. Simmons signed for Louisiana State University, another Nike school for his maiden and only year in college basketball.
Such intrinsic connections with the corporation, and brand loyalty could be instrumental in Simmons’ decision, when it comes to sneaker deal.
Photo courtesy: Nike official website