LeBron was a kid but he made me realize that the World was changing.

Steve Stoute told a curious anecdote about LeBron James. A guest on former NFL player Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, the record executive talked about the time when LBJ, just 18 years old, turned down a $10 million offer without batting an eye. An event that hints at how confident LeBron was even as a young boy.

In 2003 Reebok gave me the task of convincing LeBron James to sign a contract of about $10 million with them. We met, I introduced myself, told him the offer but he turned it down. And I applauded him. He actually replied that he would consider other offers as well. I realized at that moment that the World was changing. A black boy just 18 years old had just turned down a $10 million offer to go back to the public housing in an Ohio town. He was just a kid at the time, but he showed great confidence in his own means. He bet on himself and won. My idea had not worked but I applauded him anyway.

Source: Basketball Chronicles

Shortly thereafter, LeBron signed with another apparel company, Nike, which put him under contract for an $87 million figure. A few years later would come a lifetime deal for $1 billion, definitely more than the $10 million that would have enticed anyone in his situation, however. Anyone but LeBron.

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