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Air: Sonny Vaccaro's Career Took An Unexpected Turn After The Events Of The Movie

"Air" hits theaters this week, showcasing Nike's legendary signing of Michael Jordan, forever changing basketball. An all-star cast brings the story to life, with Ben Affleck playing Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro, Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser, and Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan, the mother of the Chicago Bulls icon.

Since the movie focuses on Nike, it depicts competing shoe brands as villains. However, if there were ever to be a sequel to "Air," Damon's Sonny Vaccaro may be in an interesting position, as the real Vaccaro took his talents to Adidas after the events of the movie.

While working for Nike's direct competitor, Vaccaro continued his hot streak, recruiting players for the brand. It's hard to imagine him being able to follow up the signing of arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but he somehow managed to show off his expertise, connecting Adidas with rising star Kobe Bryant. For all intents and purposes, Adidas is the villain of "Air," so the main character leaving Nike for the competitor is the real-life plot twist that most audiences probably aren't aware of.

Sonny Vaccaro nearly brought LeBron James to Adidas

To make the story of Sonny Vaccaro and Nike even more interesting, after securing the company's biggest signing with Michael Jordan, he nearly stole their second most significant athlete, a high school sensation named LeBron James, before he signed with Nike in May 2003.

Vaccaro recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show, revealing how Adidas "screwed up" a deal with LeBron just like they "screwed up" their deal with Jordan. "Adidas screwed up the way Adidas historically screws up," he said, not mincing words. "I offered LeBron, you know, $100 million, $10 million a year, while he was still in high school. Until the day of the signing, when you're supposed to sign, I was given permission. I never spent other people's money, but Adidas told me, 'Give him the 10 million a year.'" However, that wasn't the offer Adidas brought to the table at the signing, including incentives for LeBron to reach to make more money, which the James family quickly turned down. Vaccaro then told the young phenom to go to Nike and get himself a good deal.

Vaccaro also revealed that Adidas dropped the ball with Michael Jordan, saying they had the opportunity to sign him in 1984, and he was ready to represent them. However, the company refused to give him a financial stake in the company, allowing Nike to swoop in and offer just that.