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.