Markelle Fultz considered signing with Big Baller Brand before agreeing to deal with Nike
Being the consensus top pick heading into this year’s draft, it was expected that Markelle Fultz will be pursued by some of the biggest shoe and apparel manufacturers to endorse their brand.
When he eventually signed with Nike, it did not come as a surprise to many, especially with them having a long list of big name athletes wearing their products.
However, what turned out to be a shocker was when the 19-year-old Washington product revealed, via Cindy Boren and Kent Babb of the Washington Post, that he considered inking a deal with Big Baller Brand, owned by the Ball family.
“Both young men stand to make a fortune with a shoe/apparel deal, too. While Lonzo [Ball] is already (possibly) cashing in on those $500 sneakers, Fultz inked a multiyear deal with Nike late last week. But before doing so, he apparently entertained the idea of signing with Big Baller Brand, of all companies.”
The piece also shared a hilarious exchange between Fultz and his trainer, Keith Williams, where the two discussed the idea of opting to sign with BBB instead, and not any of the more popular sneaker companies.
“Williams: You sure you don’t want to sign with them?
Fultz: I was thinking about it, but then I would make him money, though.
Williams: Or lose them more money.
[Babb asks if there was serious consideration for Team Fultz to join Big Baller Brand]
Fultz: I don’t know, honestly.
Williams: I don’t think they’ve got money to sign nobody.”
While many expected him to sign with Nike, especially after already wearing their shoes since declaring for the NBA draft, there were some who thought he would agree to a deal with Under Armour. Fultz is a D.C. native, and it is where the company is also headquartered, which gives both parties a strong connection. It would’ve been a big win for them if they were able to sign a big time local prospect to be an endorser.
As it turned out, Fultz is happy being with Nike, which leaves LaVar Ball and his family left to wonder what it would’ve been like having the top two picks under their brand, should Lonzo be taken second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. It could be the boost they need to take their company to the next level, but for now, they’ll have to settle having the former UCLA guard as their lone athlete, and see if they can sign someone else in the future.