INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Attorney Michael Avenatti's clash with Nike has pulled an Indiana basketball star into the fray.
In a motion filed by Avenatti, he claims that a series of text messages showed Nike attempting to make payments to high school players, their families or someone representing them.
Jamal James texted DeBose and Nike Recruiting Coordinator John Stovall in February 2017, asking whether they would be “willing to do … whatever may be needed for the Zion/Romeo situations as well as the money we’re now going to do for the [minor] kid in Michigan,” to which Stovall responded
Langford – 20
Zion – 35 plus
[minor] – 15
NOTE: James is the Nike Elite Youth Basketball manager and DeBose is the director.
According to the motion, DeBose responded that he was willing to pay the combined $70,000 and that they "should 'stay aggressive' while he got 'creative' with the budget."
It is not clear whether or not those alleged payments ever made it to the players and Romeo Langford attended Indiana University which has a contract with Adidas.
Avenatti was arrested in March and accused of attempting to extort up to $25 million from Nike. Avenatti's motion denies ever offering to cover up the conduct he was alleging against Nike. Instead he claims the settlement would have made Nike have to disclose the alleged misconduct to "anyone, including the government."
You can read the full court documents of Avenatti's motion here: