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Thursday, August 14, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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People in sports

LeBron James missed deal with Gatorade

LeBron James: The NBA's No. 1 draft pick will not be showered with money from Gatorade.

The sports drink company pulled out of negotiations with James, the Cleveland Cavaliers rookie who has already secured more than $100 million in endorsement deals.

"We knew what our best offer was and we knew what they wanted," said Andy Horrow, a Gatorade spokesman. "The value we place on an individual athlete is very far from where his people want him to be. We do value LeBron. We think he's going to be a great NBA player, but this is a brand that doesn't need to lean on one athlete for marketing."

Aaron Goodwin, James' agent who brokered a $90 million contract with Nike in May, would not comment on specifics of the talks.

James twice was Gatorade's national high-school Player of the Year, and it had been assumed he would become one of its pitchmen, following in the footsteps of his idol, Michael Jordan.

In addition to his deal with Nike, James signed a $6 million contract with Upper Deck trading cards. He also has a $13 million contract with the Cavaliers.

— The Associated Press

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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