Nike released a statement on Saturday responding to the latest allegations and document dump from Michael Avenatti, a lawyer best known for representing Stormy Daniels that is currently facing charges stemming from the attempted extortion of Nike.
“Nike will not respond to the allegations of an individual facing federal charges of fraud and extortion and aid in his disgraceful attempts to distract from the athletes on the court at the height of the tournament,” read the statement which was obtained by Yahoo. “Nike will continue its cooperation with the government’s investigation into grassroots basketball and the related extortion case.”
Avenatti released a dropbox full of documents that appear to show a series of payments made by Nike to handlers and family members of Deandre Ayton, Brandon McCoy and Bol Bol. The documents — which include bank statements, evidence of wire transfers and text messages that corroborate the Avenatti’s allegations — total more than $170,000 in payments.
Avenatti represented Gary Franklin, a former coach for California Supreme, an AAU program that produced Ayton, Bol and McCoy that was sponsored by Nike and a part of the EYBL.