Sunday was Mother’s Day, with people across the world celebrating their mothers and the sacrifices they make for their children. And while almost every mother does everything they can for their child, not many can claim to have been part of their child’s best decision the way Deloris Jordan can. Mother to the greatest basketball player of all time, Deloris played a major part in MJ becoming the billionaire he is today.
Jordan’s relationship with Nike is well known, he has helped the company grow leaps and bounds and has become a billionaire himself working with them. But Jordan almost didn’t even sign with Nike, his first choice in 1984 when he came into the league was Adidas. He was so convinced that he wasn’t even going to take a meeting with Nike, but that was only until his mother Deloris got involved.
“My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen’. She made me get on that plane and go listen.”
Nike offered MJ a signature shoe, something Adidas couldn’t match, and the rest, as they say, is history. Nike is worth around $40 billion today, and Jordan is worth over $2 billion, so it’s safe to say that the plane ride proved to be worthwhile for both MJ and the company. Deloris’ side of how she made it happen is an interesting one as well.
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“‘Mom, I don’t want to hear it, I know what I want to do, I don’t wanna go to Nike’. I said, ‘Michael, you have to give them an opportunity.”
MJ’s father was also involved a little, giving his advice after Nike offered Jordan the deal at their pitch meeting.
“Go into that meeting not wanting to be there, Nike made this big pitch. My father said, ‘You gotta be a fool for not taking this deal, this is the best deal’.”
As children grow up, they tend to want to become their people and stop listening to their parents, but MJ’s example is an excellent example of how taking their advice can yield the most amazing results. MJ would still be the GOAT even if he didn’t sign with Nike, and he would probably still have made a lot of money too, but his partnership with Nike changed sneakers forever, and it’s all thanks to Deloris Jordan.