Michael Avenatti Nike Scandal: Lawyer Names 2 Players Who Allegedly Were Paid

Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti has had an eventful 24 hours. On Monday, March 25, he was arrested in Manhattan for attempting to extort $20 million from Nike. He was also hit with multiple federal charges for bank and wire fraud in California. Despite that, Avenatti is doubling-down on his allegations against the sportswear giant.

On Tuesday, March 26, Avenatti once again took to Twitter and this time he was ready to name names. Specifically, the former Stormy Daniels attorney named current Phoenix Suns center and former Arizona Wildcats star DeAndre Ayton, and Oregon Ducks center Bol Bol as players who received payments from Nike. He also claims that Nike is not being cooperative with the investigation and are withholding evidence from it.

Avenatti’s evidence comes from his client Gary Franklin, a former Amateur Athletic Union(AAU) coach that was just recently let go by Nike.

Contrary to Nike’s claims yesterday, they have NOT been cooperating with investigators for over a year. Unless you count lying in response to subpoenas and withholding documents as “cooperating.” They are trying to divert attention from their own crimes.https://t.co/chJEhbsxTH

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019

Ask DeAndre Ayton and Nike about the cash payments to his mother and others. Nike’s attempt at diversion and cover-up will fail miserably once prosecutors realize they have been played by Nike and their lawyers at Boies. This reaches the highest levels of Nike.

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019

Bol Bol and his handlers also received large sums from Nike. The receipts are clear as day. A lot of people at Nike will have to account for their criminal conduct, starting with Carlton DeBose & moving higher up. The diversion charade they orchestrated against me will be exposed

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019

The corruption at Nike was rampant with Merl Code and increased with his apprentice DeBose after Code left for Adiddas. Those above DeBose knew all about the payments. Nike conspired to route many of the payments through a convicted felon. Nike then lied to the government.

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019

If Nike was cooperating with the government for over a year relating to this scandal (they weren’t – this is a lie), where are the disclosures in their SEC filings? There are none. Wait until the SEC begins their investigation & starts asking why Nike hid this info from investors

— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) March 26, 2019

Franklin was the coach for the AAU team California Supreme, the AAU team of both Ayton and Bol. The latter has missed most of his freshman season due to injury, but Bol is still a projected lottery pick in the upcoming 2019 draft. Ayton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft after a dominant freshman season at Arizona.

This is not the first mention of Bol, a Bahamas native, being involved in a payment scheme as his name came up in the adidas trial in October. Adidas “bag man” TJ Gassonola claimed to have paid Ayton’s family friend $15,000 when he was a junior in high school. Ayton did not sign with either Adidas or Nike after entering the NBA draft as he signed with German-based Puma.

Ayton and Bol may be the highest draft picks associated with California Supreme, but they are not the only two notable alumni for the AAU team. Shaq’s son Shareef O’Neal and former UNLV center Brandon McCoy also played for California Supreme. Ayton, Bol, and McCoy all played in the McDonald’s All-American Game, while O’Neal was considered the biggest snub of the 2018 game.

The Nike-Avenatti saga is just starting, which means more information will come to light over the next couple of days.

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