Skip to main content

Adidas' biggest mistake that cost them Michael Jordan


If there is one thing we learned from Michael Jordan's illustrious career, it is that you should never doubt him because he is going to make you pay. No matter if you were a player, coach, scout, or even a shoe company. Back in 1984, Adidas made a wrong decision as a Wall Street Journal article explained their decision to pass on Jordan.

"In 1984, Adidas made a misstep that presaged others. A University of North Carolina basketball star named Michael Jordan wanted a sponsorship deal with Adidas when he went professional, say people familiar with the matter.

Adidas distributors wanted to sign Mr. Jordan, says someone who was an Adidas distributor then. But executives in Germany decided shoppers would favor taller players and wanted to sponsor centers, the person says, adding: "We kept saying, 'no-no one can relate to those guys. Who can associate with a seven-foot-tall guy?'"

They passed on MJ because they thought he was too short. That was a critical mistake, as Jordan went on to win six championships and build probably the most prominent legacy in the history of the NBA, as he was and still is regarded by most as the greatest basketball player of all time.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Sure, this mistake didn't destroy Adidas, as they are still one of the biggest sports brands in the world to this day, as the company value sits somewhere at $5.8 billion. But then you look at Nike, which got Jordan at that time and now its value is estimated at around $16.5 billion.

You can't help but think that things could have been the other way around if they made the right move and got Jordan when they could have.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson and members of the USA mens basketball team

“Deep down, it bothered me” — Allen Iverson reveals he was hurt about not being on the Redeem Team

While AI did admit that he was happy about the success of the 2008 US team, he couldn't help but feel bothered because he wasn't a part of it.

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith

“I put my career on the line every day fighting for us!” — Stephen A Smith responds to ESPN colleague who called him a c**n

Steven A. Smith defended himself and made it clear that he’d be the first one to admit if he was wrong.

kobe bryant

"The lockout was made to restrict the Lakers" — When Kobe Bryant claimed the 2011 NBA lockout was a setup

Kobe Bryant also shared his thoughts on the infamous Chris Paul trade that got vetoed by David Stern

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan in action against the Boston Celtics

“They never won the championship when they had 28 teams and so much parity in the league” - Michael Jordan once dissed the Boston Celtics’ early championships

While the C's are always praised for being a historic franchise and having the most championships many, including Michael Jordan, feel there's a caveat in regards to their achievements.

(11) Dwight Howard, (10) Kobe Bryant, (6) LeBron James and (5)Jason Kidd react on the bench

"They're totally different as far as their personalities" - Dwight Howard on the biggest differences between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James

According to DH12, one preferred to be straightforward and quiet, while the other was the type to blast music and let his work do the talking.

LeBron James

LeBron James calls out the media for their treatment of Kyrie Irving compared to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones - "I was kind of disappointed"

LeBron calls out the media for having double standards when reporting about Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (right) and teammate Stephen Jackson (3) talk to each other

“How are we gonna explain this to Pop?” - How a bloody paintball match almost got Stephen Jackson and Tim Duncan in deep trouble

Fortunately, a busted lip was all the penalty Stephen Jackson had to endure for not following Gregg Popovich's instructions.