Marcin Gortat Went To War With Reebok Over His Jordan Tattoo
Marcin Gortat was drafted 57th overall in the 2005 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns, but chose to keep playing in Cologne, Germany until 2007. In the meantime, his draft rights were traded to the Orlando Magic with whom he signed on August 2, 2007.
Gortat was the backup for Dwight Howard and was able to learn from the All-Star. He improved a lot in his first year already and was able to impress in limited minutes. This led to Gortat even scoring a shoe contract with Reebok.
He never had a problem with the company until the 2009 playoffs in which Gortat was able to shine. You see, Gortat has a Jordan logo calf tattoo and Reebok didn’t really care about it at first.
Then, in the 2009 NBA Finals, Reebok, all of a sudden, was not too happy with Gortat’s advertisement for their biggest rival on his leg anymore. Thanks to the new spotlight Gortat was in, they asked him to either wear higher socks or to actually cover his Jordan ink with makeup. Gortat wasn’t having any of it and said:
“They called and said I had to do something about it, but that ain’t going to happen. I’ve been wearing it [the tattoo] 4-5 years now, and it helped me get to the NBA. They didn’t say anything about it when I signed the contract, so it’s not going anywhere. I don’t think they are paying me enough to take it off. I’ve heard from other people that even other players, if they don’t know my name, they know I’m the big white guy with the Jordan tattoo, I like that. Reebok will have to get used to that.”
Well, Reebok didn’t and the two sides were never able to repair their relationship.