Nike's top athlete weighs in on Kanye West's diss track and the Nike-Adidas beef.
Kanye West’s track “Facts” dropped just before the New Year, and in it he spends most of the song directly addressing his former relationship with Nike, and current relationship with Adidas. While the factuality of “Facts” has come into question, much of what ‘Ye says in the song is still circulating to everyone involved with the two competing brands.
LeBron James hasn’t heard the song, but that didn’t stop him from answering questions about the track, which directly references LeBron ( “Nike, Nike, treat employees just like slaves / gave LeBron a billi’ not to run away”), in an interview with Cleveland.com. LeBron was predictably diplomatic, backing Nike and avoiding any direct disagreement with the popular rapper, producer, and designer. He did invoke Nike founder Phil Knight, stating "Phil Knight's greatest saying is 'always listen to the heart of the athlete listen to the words of the athlete, and that's all it's about, nothing else."
Kanye left Nike after Adidas offered him a $10 million deal (and more creative freedom). However, that number pales in comparison to the $600 million lifetime endorsement deal LeBron recently signed.