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Julius “Dr. J” Erving Jokes That Converse Still Owes Him Money From His First Sneaker Deal

Submitted by on November 16, 2013 – 3:59 pmNo Comment

Hey, Converse: Julius “Dr. J” Erving wants his money! You know what money he’s talking about, right? He wants the money that you still owe him from the sneaker endorsement deal that he signed back in the 1970s. Yes, that deal! “Converse owes me money,” he said during a recent interview with Bleacher Report.

Dr. J was, of course, kidding when he said that Converse still owes him money. They don’t actually owe him a single cent. But Dr. J did help revolutionize the sneaker endorsement deal by signing one of the first deals with Converse. He told Bleacher Report that, at the time, he had a four-year, $500,000 deal to play basketball. And his sneaker endorsement deal was worth approximately $15,000 to $25,000. However, he argues that Converse “owes” him money because most NBA players today have sneaker endorsement deals that are worth way more than the money that they make in the NBA. There is no sort of salary cap or anything when it comes to shoe deals. So players can sign deals worth as much as sneaker companies are willing to give them. So in that regard, Dr. J got a raw deal with Converse. In today’s market, he would have made a killing off his sneaker deal.

That’s what happens when you are one of the first ones to do something, though. Back in 1970s, sneaker companies didn’t make as much money off signature sneakers as they do today. So players weren’t paid millions of dollars to sign endorsement deals. But Dr. J was one of the lucky players who had a sneaker deal to begin with, so we’re sure that he’s not too broken up about the fact that he didn’t make millions of dollars by signing a sneaker deal. He was likely just happy to have one when he did.

If you’re interested in hearing Dr. J speak more about his first sneaker deal, head over to Bleacher Report and watch his interview with Howard Beck. Do you think that Converse should find a way to pay Dr. J back for what he did for the company during his playing days? Or do you think they’ve done enough for him by allowing him to continue to be a part of the company? Let us know in the comments section below.

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