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Nike Execs Allegedly Pursued Endorsement for 13-Year-Old and That's Disgusting

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 11:  Tacko Fall #55 of the Boston Celtics wears Nike sneakers during warmups before a game against the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2019 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Celtics defeated the Grizzlies 113-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A 13-year-old should have to worry about what he's having for dinner and which verbs to study for his Spanish test, not a multi-million dollar endorsement deal.

Text messages between three Nike executives have revealed the company's pursuit of high schoolers including a middle schooler, as well as 2019 NBA first-round picks Zion Williamson and Romeo Langford, according to court materials filed by attorney Michael Avenatti.

Per Yahoo Sports, the 13-year-old mentioned in the investigation is now-15-year-old Emoni Bates, who led his team to a state basketball championship in Michigan. It's one thing to compare Bates to Kevin Durant and call him "the best high school prospect regardless of class," but let the kid live his life, people!

Bates was in seventh grade when the alleged text conversation between the Nike execs took place. Even if scouts firmly believe that Bates has a bright NBA future ahead of him, there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

Of course, Nike didn't technically strike out on Zion Williamson, who signed with their wholly-owned Jordan Brand earlier this summer. There's no word on whether this investigation or his shoes exploding influenced his decision to go with the Jumpman instead of the Swoosh, but recruiting a 13-year-old is despicable nonetheless.