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EXCLUSIVE: Master P Further Explains Comments About Michael Jordan’s Nike Deal

The rapper/mogul tells BET.com that there’s more to his comments, stressing that he was not actually calling Jordan out.

A few weeks ago, rapper, mogul, entrepreneur and certified OG, Percy “Master P” Miller, made headlines after making comments about NBA legend Michael Jordan. Miller appeared on an interview with Nation Of Podcation where he intimated that Jordan did not fully take advantage of his relationship with Nike and wished Jordan had pushed for ownership in the company when he first signed his infamous Nike deal for $250,000 in 1984.

“If you look at Michael Jordan’s career….even though he’s a billionaire now..he had a million-dollar deal, to which I’m thinking what if he got a percentage of Nike back in those days,” said the No Limit CEO.

“Because he built that company, turned it into an empire. We was wearing Converse back in the day. We wasn’t wearing Nike. We was wearing Converse and Adidas. And if you look at it, Michael Jordan, he trademarked his name that turned him into a multi-billionaire. But imagine if he had shares in that company. Imagine if he had stock in that company. Imagine if they gave him a percentage for what he’s done,” he continued.

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In an exclusive interview with BET.com, Miller clarified his earlier statements on what many questioned was a critique of Jordan and one of the richest endorsement deals of all time.

“First of all, I want to tell you, I wasn’t critiquing Michael Jordan, I was educating our people,” explains Miller to BET.com. “I love Michael Jordan as a person, but I want to educate the next generation.

“This company needed Michael Jordan,” said Miller. “That was the time to get your value and your worth. Just think about the more families and more people he would have been able to bless, even if they had given him half of Nike because Nike was a company that started off in a garage.”

Truthfully, during that era, the deal did seem like it could get no better. Nike offered Jordan a five-year, $500,000 per year deal— triple any other NBA sneaker deal — with an upfront commitment of 250,000 dollars and his own sneaker line. Miller still contends he could have done better.

“Only thing I'm saying is if we educate this nation, we have to know our value and our worth. I’m so proud of Michael Jordan because he's a billionaire now,” he said. “But I'm just saying they needed him to get there and we buy their product because of him, not because of them. I know a lot of people may not get this or understand, but I'm saying it’s about us evolving. I don't pray for money. I pray for wisdom, knowledge and information and that's how you get to the money.”

In the fifth episode of The Last Dance —  a popular ESPN docu-series with never before told stories on Jordan’s final year with the Bulls — Jordan also admits wanting to sign with Adidas at the time, going as far as to give the German shoemaker a personal phone call to see if it could match Nike's deal. The admission was ironic to the docu-series’ director, Jason Hehir, seeing where Micheal and Nike are today.

Before Jordan, Nike wasn’t the mammoth brand it is today. ESPN reports that although the company's revenue went from $28.7 million in 1973 to $867 million by the end of 1983, things started going downhill and in February 1984, the company reported its first quarterly loss ever.

David Falk, who was Jordan’s agent at the time, said in the Last Dance episode that Nike hoped that by year four the Air Jordan line could earn the company $3 million. In the first year, Air Jordans made an eye-popping $126 million. Forbes reports that Jordan has since earned an estimated $1.3 billion from Nike after helping to transform Nike into one of the largest, most valuable consumer brands in the world.

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