Former NBA Superstar Spencer Haywood Lost $3 Billion Because Of His Agent’s Advise

Photo Credit: Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Former NBA Superstar Spencer Haywood Lost $3 Billion Because Of His Agent’s Advise


In the 1970s, Spencer Haywood was an absolute NBA superstar, competing in four NBA All-Star Games, making 4 All-NBA Teams, and prior to that, winning an Olympic gold medal, and being named the ABA MVP.

In his prime days, the Hall of Famer averaged 30 and 13 for the Seattle Supersonics, who retired his number 24 jersey. Even for his entire career, Hayward has been able to average above 20 and 10, making him one of the most under appreciated players in history.

For his birthday today, let’s take a look back to maybe the most tragic, but also most interesting story of his career. Haywood could have become one of the world’s richest men, but missed out on that opportunity due to his agent. You see, even back then, companies wanted NBA players to endorse their products. When making his NBA debut with the Seattle SuperSonics at age 21, after suing the NBA to gain ‘early entrance’, Spencer was approached by Nike early in his career. The offer was incredibly ridiculous for today’s standards. He had the option to either take $100,000 or to get 10 percent of the company in exchange for promoting the shoes. Yes, that’s a 10% stake of Nike.

That was one year before Nike was even know as Nike. They were still a small player of the market as Blue Ribbon Sports, before becoming a global powerhouse only a few years later.

But given the fact that they weren’t, and $100,000 back then was a lot more than it is today, his agent advised him to take the money. Huge mistake obviously in hindsight, as today, his 10% stake in Nike would have been worth $3,000,000,000. Yes, that’s three billion dollars.


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