Basketball Hall of Famer Spencer Haywood won a gold medal in the 1986 Olympics, is a four-time NBA All-Star, was a part of the 1980 Lakers championship team and was married to supermodel Iman for a decade. One thing he may have missed out on, however: being a billionaire.
Asked in an interview by a local news program what his best decision in life has been, Haywood said it was getting sober from cocaine addiction 29 years ago. Among his worst decisions, he said, was taking advice from his agent when Nike came calling over 30 years ago, reports Click On Detroit.
Early on in his 14-year pro career, Phil Knight, the founder of then-new company Nike, approached him and gave him an offer: promote the company’s shoes and he could choose to take either $100,000 or a 10 percent stake in the company.
Haywood took the $100,000 on the advice of his agent.
Hey check this out Nike first advertisement ever 1973 in Seattle Super Sonics and I did it for free. Spencer Haywood pic.twitter.com/WgeLbEMV
— Spencer Haywood (@SpencerHaywood) January 19, 2013
Today, Nike is one of the most valuable companies in the world, approximately valued at $86 billion. If Haywood had taken the 10 percent stake, it could have been worth around $8.6 billion today.
Haywood, however, probably doesn’t let the decision haunt him. He is quoted as saying at the end of his interview clip: “Bitterness will eat you up. Let it go.”