In spite of his uneasy relationship with Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley is not shy about giving him credit when it’s due.
In this instance, Barkley’s bringing attention to his contract with Nike that the Chicago Bulls legend advised him on.
Barkley had cemented a deal with the athletic apparel company around the same time as Jordan. This meant, he was sporting new shoes every week, a complete contrast to the one pair of sneakers a year he got in high school.
“We had to pool our money. So I got one pair of shoes [a season],” Barkley recalled during an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, according to Basketball Network. “My mom brought them to the game, and right after the game, she knocked on the door and took them home. I could only wear them during the season because they had to last me.”
At the time of his Nike deal, Barkley says he was making around $3 million per year. Yet, as impressive as this may seem, Jordan understood the bigger picture. He suggested Barley negotiate a new contract, and the word of wisdom resulted in Barkley earning much more than he was already making.
“We both go to Nike. They sign Michael and they sign me. So, I’m there when all this sh-t is happening and clearly… and I’m still with Nike ’til this day,” Barkley explained during “The Steam Room” podcast.
He continued: “Michael gave me some great advice one time and I think I was making $3 million a year from Nike if I remember correctly… He says, ‘Hey man, why you need all that money?’ I said, ‘Dude, what you talking about?’ He says, ‘I was looking at your contract, you making about $3 million. Tell Nike you want a million and you want the rest in stock options,'” Barkley recalled to podcast hosts Chuck and Ernie Johnson.
Barkley told Jordan that he’d run it by his team, and he did.
“I actually made probably 10-times the amount of money because it split… If I remember correctly, I got those options at $35 and they split over a 100, probably 10 times since 1984-85.”