Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden is in a bit of hot water with his new endorser, adidas.
The Three Stripes lured Harden away from Nike with a $200 million offer, only to spot the bearded superstar waltzing around in a crispy pair of Air Jordan 5s alongside his celebrity girlfriend Khloe Kardashian.
It’s “part of the deal” for Harden not to rock any of the shoes made by adidas’ competitors.
Per TMZ and ESPN:
Harden was spotted wearing Nike Air Jordans as he left a movie theater with GF Khloe Kardashian — even though he just signed that sweet deal to endorse Adidas.
Asked whether Harden will have to stop wearing his Air Jordan collection in public when the deal officially commences Oct. 1, Adidas’ Mark King said, “That’s part of the deal.” […] “The difference between football and basketball is that a guy like Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a walk-around shoe,” King said. “Harden does, and he will be in our lifestyle stuff.”
Harden left Nike last month to sign a 13-year, $200 million deal with Adidas. One of the reasons Adidas agreed to pay what it did is that the company believed Harden has the off-the-court buzz to boost its lifestyle business. […] Endorsing a competitor could be grounds for termination. In 2001, Reebok — which is now owned by Adidas — ended its deal with Shawn Kemp after he told a newspaper reporter that the shoes of today weren’t made as well and that his favorite pair of shoes were Nikes. Both sides sued each other, which ultimately led to a settlement.