As expected, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard finalized his new deal with adidas, and it’s going to make the 23-year-old considerably richer. It’s one of the most lucrative contracts signed by an NBA player with the Three Stripes in history (though Derrick Rose’s deal remains at the top of the heap). Per an adidas release:
adidas today announced a long-term partnership extension with NBA All-Star point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. The young star will continue to be an integral part of adidas Basketball’s marketing campaigns, product launches and global initiatives moving forward.
“adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons,” said Lillard. “I’ve had the opportunity to wear a lot of great product, help design special versions of shoes, be a part of TV commercials and travel the world with the brand. I’m excited for what the future holds for me and adidas.”
Lillard’s dedication to basketball brought immediate success in his young NBA career, including being named the unanimous Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. This season, Lillard took another step forward, earning a spot on the Western Conference NBA All-Star team where he also became the first player to complete in all five events at All-Star weekend. Lillard’s improvement has led to team success, as the Trail Blazers have clinched a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference for the first time in three seasons.
“Damian has proven to be not only an amazing basketball player, but a great partner, member of the community and someone who creates excitement for our products,” said Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing. “His leadership and commitment to success on the court and his ability to interact and relate to fans through social media and the community make him the perfect fit to be one of the cornerstones of the adidas brand.”
And more details courtesy of USA Today and CSNNW:
While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.
The structure of Lillard’s previous deal was such that he could opt out and renegotiate at this early juncture of his fasttrack career. Adidas would have had stiff competition if they waited any longer, as their window to have exclusive negotiating rights with his agent, Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management, recently ended and Nike as well as the Jordan Brand were known to be very interested in luring Lillard away.
Adidas has endured a trying stretch when it comes to its top NBA talents, with Rose suffering devastating injuries in consecutive campaigns and Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard’s star fading during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Lillard, whose team plays so close to Nike headquarters, will now be featured as the next great perimeter talent with widespread appeal. And with good reason.
Lillard,the Oakland, Calif. native and Weber State product who was drafted sixth overall by the Blazers, has been tremendous from the start. He won Rookie of the Year last season, then became an All-Star for the first time and led Portland to an unexpectedly-strong season (currently 53-28, fifth in the Western Conference) in his second act.
The deal, according to another source, is an eight-year contract that has the potential to stretch out to 10 years if he reaches certain incentive clauses. We’ve confirmed Lillard’s new contract is slightly less than that of Derrick Rose.