By: Ujan Chakraborty

LeBron James Recalls Turning Down $10 Million as a Young NBA Star

Image Credit: NBA

NBA legend LeBron James faced a huge financial choice when he was 18 years old. In an episode of "Kneading Dough" with Maverick Carter, James talks about it.

Paul Fireman, the former CEO of Reebok, was the person James traveled from the projects of Akron, Ohio, to meet with. On the spot, he made the senior in high school a $10 million offer with one condition.

James recalls the time he sat across from Paul and had no idea what he was writing with his head down. He slid the check down to James and asked him to take the check and never talk to Nike or Adidas.

James says, "I had trouble talking at first. I flew from the projects in Spring Hill and Akron, Ohio and  I'm now looking at a $10 million cheque, where our rent was only about $17 per month."

"I began to wonder, 'What's to say that Nike or Adidas won't be willing to offer me $20 or $30 million upfront if this guy is willing to give me a $10 million check right now?" said James.

"Maybe the upfront money which Paul is offering is not even the biggest thing. I started thinking about the back end" James tells Carter.

But still today, James admits that he still finds it hard to accept that he left that $10 million when he was 18 years old.

James' decision paid off greatly, as Nike apparently offered him a $90 million contract. Ten years later, James signed a potential $1 billion lifetime contract with the company.

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