Endorsement is a huge part of basketball and has been for nearly a century.
Ever since a young basketball player named Charles Taylor started to wear a pair of Converse All-Stars, many players have lent their name, their star power and often their expertise.
Whilst His Airness himself was the benchmark and the value of rare Jordans for sale is just a tiny highlight of how brilliantly that endorsement went, there are a few other players who have tried to achieve the same with other companies.
However, for every Kobe Bryant/Adidas or Allen Iverson/Reebok partnership, you got quite a few Sprewell Spinners. Here are some of the worst endorsements that tried to compete with the Air Jordan.
Le Coq Sportif Joakim Noah
French sportswear manufacturer Le Coq Sportif is not exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of basketball sneakers, and there is a very good reason for this.
Talented and eccentric French American centre Joakim Noah gleefully signed to the company that sponsored his father, tennis superstar Yannick Noah, but problems arose immediately when LCS closed their US offices and tried to back out of the deal.
The resulting shoes from that chaos look like relics from another time and in a later lawsuit Mr Noah blames them for contributing to the development of plantar fasciitis which he claims ended his career.
Warner Brothers BC
There are two names here that are truly and utterly bizarre and it’s therefore no surprise that this match made in chaos did not succeed.
BC stands for Bryant “Big Country” Reeves, a huge seven-foot centre who was the very first draft pick of the Vancouver Grizzlies, playing from 1995 until the team moved to Memphis in 2001. He wasn’t great and consistent weight issues really hurt his later seasons.
Warner Brothers, on the other hand, were not a traditional shoe company, as you might expect. They were, in fact, the producers and distributors behind Space Jam, the greatest Air Jordan advert ever made.
MCW Men’s Professional Basketball Shoes – Li-Ning
Michael Carter-Williams is a former promising rookie for the Philadelphia 76ers who became a victim of Sam Hinckie’s infamous Trust the Process era of basketball before getting injured and traded.
After this, however, when MCW was bouncing from team to team in the Eastern Conference, Chinese manufacturer Li-Ning gave him his own signature shoe with the delightfully utilitarian name “MCW Men’s Professional Basketball Shoes”.
It sadly didn’t help, and since that deal in 2017 he has played for four different teams and after being waived by the Orlando Magic is likely to make that a fifth by the start of the 2022-23 season.