Michigan basketball standout Cade Cunningham has shown he has the drive to succeed. From the beginning, he set his sights on playing in the NBA and had aspirations of being the best basketball player at his school, just like his idol LeBron James.

Most lifters aren’t into the whole celebrity thing. They just want to make some serious gains in the weight room. But for a select few, it’s a different story. They’re more about the branding than the gains. And when it comes to endorsements, these guys love to speak about their favorite products—not for the money, but for the bragging rights. Case in point: Cade Cunningham.

There was a time when NBA basketball players were able to make their money off of just playing the game of basketball. But now the competition is so fierce amongst the league’s best that they’re making millions by endorsing products. When DeAndre Jordan signed his latest endorsement deal, he made more than $100 million off of a shoe deal alone. And NBA players are not the only ones to get paid big money to endorse brands. Golfers like Rory McIlroy, Rory McIlroy’s dad, and Tiger Woods are all making bank off their endorsement deals, and they all share a few things in common.

Cade Cunningham has yet to play in an NBA game, but he is already following in the footsteps of superstars. Yes, he’ll likely be the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft with the Detroit Pistons, but Cunningham’s latest endorsement contract follows in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and a slew of other luminaries.

Cunningham has signed a contract with Nike as a Nike athlete.

Nike athletes include LeBron James, Michael Jordan, and other NBA players.

For years, Nike has had some of the best NBA players on its roster.

Michael Jordan has been one of the most successful athletes in history. Jordan not only has his own Nike brand, Jordan Brand, but according to Forbes in 2020, Nike has paid Jordan over $1 billion since he signed his initial contract with the business in 1984.

LeBron James has earned a fortune with the sports brand as well. In reality, in December 2015, he inked a lifetime contract with Nike, and James’ business associate Maverick Carter suggested that it might be worth more than $1 billion. Carter allegedly didn’t offer a real response when asked whether it was worth $1 billion by GQ in 2016, instead pointing upward.

Other current NBA players who are Nike athletes (or Nike Jordan Brand athletes) include: 

  • Antetokounmpo, Giannis
  • Bradley Beal is a basketball player who plays in the NBA
  • Sue Bird
  • Devin Booker is a basketball player who plays in the NBA.
  • Anthony Davis is a professional basketball player.
  • DeMar DeRozan is a player who plays for the Toronto Raptors.
  • Kevin Durant is a basketball player who plays in the NBA
  • Paul George is a well-known figure in the
  • Brittney Griner is a model and actress.
  • Irving, Kyrie
  • Middleton, Khris
  • Breanna Stewart is a model and actress.
  • Diana Taurasi is a professional basketball player.
  • Russell Westbrook is a basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma
  • Williamson, Zion

Aaron Donald, Russell Wilson, Mike Trout, and Cody Bellinger are among the Nike athletes from other sports.

Nike has signed Cade Cunningham to a contract.

2021 NBA Draft prospect Cade Cunningham in college with Oklahoma State.

2021 NBA Draft prospect Cade Cunningham in college with Oklahoma State. On March 21, 2021, Cade Cunningham of the Oklahoma State Cowboys competes in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. | Getty Images/NCAA Photos/C. Morgan Engel

Cunningham is gearing up for the 2021 NBA Draft, and the two companies have established a multi-year partnership ahead of the big day on July 29.

Cunningham has always admired Nike, and his college team, Oklahoma State, was a Nike-sponsored institution.

Cunningham told ESPN, “More than anything, they demonstrate that athletes are more than just athletes.” “They sent out the correct message to the public. That was crucial to me…. I felt like it was a good fit for me.”

Cunningham is said to have the most lucrative shoe contract of any candidate in his draft class. During his pre-draft exercises, he also tested Li-Ning, Puma, Adidas, and Converse shoes, according to ESPN.

According to ESPN, he remarked, “We can all tell a Nike advertisement as soon as it comes on.” “Those things are important to me, and I want to be connected with a company that stands for them.”

Cade Cunningham is expected to earn a lot of money as an NBA player.

Cunningham was the top high school player in 2020, which he carried over to the Oklahoma State basketball floor. In his lone collegiate season, he averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, earning him Consensus All-American accolades and the Big 12 Player of the Year title.

Many people believe he will be the No. 1 selection in the NBA Draft in 2021 as a result of his outstanding performance, which will pay him handsomely. Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 selection in 2020, earned over $9.7 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves last season and will earn over $10.2 million in 2021-22, according to Spotrac.

Cunningham also seems to be planning to earn money from other sponsorships in addition to Nike. According to ESPN, he has signed agreements with a variety of businesses in a variety of sectors, including cryptocurrencies, energy drinks, plant-based cuisine, and a variety of others.

“I have certainly given it some consideration. According to ESPN, he said, “I’m not playing basketball simply for pleasure anymore.” “It’s now a business, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad I’ve progressed to the point where I can earn money doing what I’m doing. When it comes to marketing myself, I want to be really honest about who I am. I’m not interested in marketing agreements that don’t align with who I am.”

Cunningham is on his way to becoming an NBA great. He will, nevertheless, be a very rich guy.

Sports Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: When Nike approached Ray Allen about joining the Jordan Brand, he had no idea what they were talking about: ‘Jordan is doing it, and I want to be a part of it,’ says the author.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • lebron james endorsements
  • cade cunningham wingspan
  • what is lebron james net worth
  • when did lebron get drafted
  • tony parker endorsements
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