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Dwyane Wade signs with Chinese shoe company Li-Ning

Dwyane Wade has officially left Nike and the Jordan brand behind, signing a deal with Li-Ning, a Chinese shoe company.  In an interview about the switch with Darren Rovell, Dwyane Wade said that, “This is a great opportunity for me, I can either choose to stick to the status quo or be a trailblazer.”

When he first came into the league, Wade was passed over by Nike for LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and so Wade signed with Converse.  Converse was then bought by Nike, and Wade stuck with them until 2009, until he moved over to the Jordan side of Nike.

Signing Wade won’t guarantee them success in the shoe business, as Nike owns around 95% of the shoe business in the U.S..  Wade says that Li-Ning can’t compete with the cool factor yet, but he weighed the pros and cons of making the decision before signing.

It’s not clear what Wade will be paid, but it is clear that he is dead set on building a brand and will be a part owner of the company.  Li-Ning had previously hoped to become relevant in the shoe business by signing Shaquille O’Neal, Evan Turner and Baron Davis.  Perhaps Dwyane Wade will finally be the guy to help them break through, and make an impact here in America.


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