When basketball phenom LeBron James was 18 years old, he had to make a huge, potentially life-changing financial decision.
As he recounts in an episode of "Kneading Dough" with Maverick Carter, he flew from the projects of Akron, Ohio, to take a meeting with Paul Fireman, the former chairman and CEO of Reebok. Fireman offered the high school senior $10 million on the spot, under one condition: that James wouldn't talk to Nike or Adidas.
"First of all, it was one of the longest d--- boardroom tables I've ever seen in my life," recalls James. "I had no idea what he was doing at the other end of the table. I just see him writing … He had his head down, he was making sure he didn't get anything wrong on that check, and when he slid it down there, he said: 'Listen … you just promise me you won't go talk to Nike or Adidas and you can take this right now.'"
"I was lost for words at the beginning," James continues. "I flew in from Akron, Ohio, from Spring Hill, from the projects. Our rent is like $17 a month and now I'm looking at a $10 million check."