Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. Phil Knight is the man that took Nike and built it into the sneaker giant that it is today. Both have been influential and important to the sport and have contributed greatly to the growth and globalization of the game.
So it only makes sense that when Knight is immortalized at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. on Sept. 7 as a "contributor," Jordan be there to present him.
Michael Jordan signed with Nike when he entered the NBA in 1984 and with his flamboyant, above the rim style of play -- along with leading the Bulls to six championships in the 90's -- helped grow Nike into the conglomerate that it is today.
Nike currently enjoys a stranglehold on the basketball sneaker market that is estimated at roughly 95 percent of all shoes sold in the United States. This of course can be traced back to 1984 when Jordan first entered the NBA and his Air Jordan sneakers with the iconic "Jumpman" logo were released to the public.
Of course some will view Knight's induction as a conflict of interest considering Nike's partnerships with corporate basketball entities at all levels, but it's no doubt he deserves to be inducted because of the mark that his company has made on the game over the years.
- Jordan to present Phil Knight at the Basketball Hall of Fame (USA Today)
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- Offseason decisions put Bulls in a tough spot moving forward (ESPN)
- How to build the Bulls as true title contenders (Bleacher Report)
- Is Hinrich up to the task of leading the Bulls with Rose out? (Chicago Bulls Confidential)