While it might rub some purists the wrong way, professional sports have become a big business. When you’re a major star playing for a top team, like Anthony Davis of the LA Lakers, for example, the cash comes pouring in; between contracts, endorsements, and other business ventures, there’s no shortage of ways to make money.
Anthony Davis, however, doesn’t simply snap up any potential endorsement that comes his way. In fact, the Lakers big man will only sign on the dotted line if the deal fits him and his personal brand.
Anthony Davis is a big-time NBA talent, no matter where he plays
Since he moved to Hollywood and hit the court alongside LeBron James, life has gotten a bit easier for Anthony Davis. No matter where he’s playing, though, the big man has always had plenty of basketball talent.
After cutting his teeth in Chicago, Davis headed to the University of Kentucky to play his college ball. While he only spent one season on campus, as most John Calipari recruits do, the big man still made a massive impact. AD averaged 17.7 points, 13 rebounds, and 5.8 blocks per game, took home multiple National Player of the Year awards, and helped the Wildcats win an NCAA title.
Davis then entered into the 2011 NBA draft, joining the New Orleans Hornets as the first-overall pick. While the big man suffered through some early injuries, he still proved to be quite a talent; once the team rebranded as the Pelicans, he helped them make two playoff appearances.
Those tastes of the postseason weren’t enough, though. He requested a trade to a playoff contender and, during the 2019 offseason, got his wish. Davis, of course, joined the LA Lakers and promptly won an NBA championship.
Earning plenty of money as an NBA star
As the first-overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, Anthony Davis would have earned plenty of money even if he turned out to be a bust. Since he’s turned into a star, though, the big man’s earning power has continued to grow.
Based on Spotrac’s numbers, Davis earned roughly $120 million in salary before the 2020-21 season began; this year, of course, marks the beginning of his new, $190 million contract. By the time that deal expires in 2025, AD will have taken home more than $300 million in salary during his time on the hardwood.
Davis’ earning power, however, isn’t just limited to basketball. In 2019, he entered into a creative partnership with Ruffles; according to Forbes, the big man also has deals with Beats, ExxonMobil, First Entertainment Credit Union, and Nike.
Anthony Davis learned his lesson after a regrettable endorsement
As a big-time star on one of the NBA’s top teams, Anthony Davis probably has no shortage of brands looking to work with him. The Lakers big man, however, won’t just work with anyone.
“It’s all about the AD brand. I think when I’m looking at partnerships or endorsements or deals, I want them to fit me and my brand,” Davis told Josh Martin in a CloseUp360 interview. “I don’t want to do anything, no matter what it is, for the amount of money or just if it’s going to be a national thing. I want it to fit me, and I want to feel comfortable doing it because if it fits me and I’m comfortable doing it, I can get more into it if I’m passionate about it. So I don’t want to do anything just because.”
That stance stems from a personal experience earlier in the big man’s NBA career.
“Maybe five years ago, I did this one commercial that I kind of regret,” he explained. “I had a wig on. From that day, I would never do anything that I don’t want to do again. It paid well, but after it came out, it was, like, I got a lot of heat on it. It was bad. So I have to look at it and I see, does this fit with what I’m trying to identify as my brand? If it does, I look more into it. And if I’m really passionate about it, then it’s right.”
There are countless cliches about being about the company you keep and doing your due diligence before entering into a business arrangement. Thankfully for Anthony Davis, it seems like he learned those lessons before it was too late.