Zion Williamson has made his decision.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft announced Tuesday that he has signed an endorsement deal with Jordan Brand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Adam Zagoria of Forbes reports the deal to be worth seven years and $75 million.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson said. "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.”
Williamson, who starred for one season at Duke before being selected first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans, is the latest addition to Jordan Brand-affiliated athletes. Just this summer, NBA players Jayson Tatum and Rui Hachimura, Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and WNBA players Asia Durr and Kia Nurse have all aligned with the Jordan Brand.
Other NBA stars signed to Jordan Brand, which is owned by Nike, include Jimmy Butler, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook.
“We’re excited to welcome Zion to the Jordan Brand,” Jordan Brand president Craig Williams said. "It’s incredible to watch him play the game with unbridled passion and joy and we look forward to building our relationship with him for many years to come.”
Added Michael Jordan: “Zion’s incredible determination, character and play are inspiring. 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."
The $75 million value of the deal is the largest guarantee received by an NBA rookie since LeBron James got $90 million from Nike out of high school in 2003.
Williamson averaged 22.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in his lone season at Duke, electrifying the country with his breathtaking dunks and high-flying athleticism. Williamson infamously blew through a pair of Nikes during a game against North Carolina in February. Five months later, he has agreed to a contract where he will be paid lucratively to wear them.
Williamson appeared in just one NBA Summer League game for the Pelicans before being sidelined with a bruised knee. Williamson recently withdrew from the Team USA select team to get healthy and acclimated with his new teammates for his rookie NBA season.
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