According to, the NBA legend, who once sued the NBA to gain early entrance into the league after making his NBA debut with the Seattle SuperSonics at age 21, was approached by Nike early in his career with an enticing offer: Either $100,000 or 10 percent of the company in exchange for promoting the company’s shoes.

In 2016, such a proposition would be a no-brainer, but at the time, Nike was relatively unknown, having launched as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964, only to become Nike Inc. in 1971. At the advice of his agent, Haywood took the cash rather than partnering with Phil Knight & Co.

The deal ended up working out well for Nike, as Haywood, a gold medalist in the 1968 Olympics, became one of the greatest forwards in NBA history and won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. However it didn’t turn out as well as it could have for Haywood, whose 10 percent stake in Nike would be worth somewhere around $8.6 billion today.

If I’m Spencer I’m definitely running that scenario through my head a few thousand times. Remember to always take the equity kids.