Jordan Brand’s known for its excellent business acumen, but now one of its biggest bosses is coming forward with a secret.
Larry Miller, the chairman of Jordan Brand, is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and not only did he talk about rising the ranks in Jordan, Nike, and his stint with the Portland Trailblazers, but also what his life was like growing up in West Philadelphia in the 1960s. Specifically, he talks about his youth in September 1965 was he was jailed for killing a kid.
This is Miller’s first time speaking about his criminal past for fear that it would affect his reputation and employment at some of the most sought-after sports-related brands in the world.
The 72-year-old spoke on the shooting which occurred when he was just 16 and that it was “utterly senseless” for him to kill 18-year-old Edward White. He says he drank a bottle of wine and then went walking the streets with a .38 he got from his girlfriend to shoot the first person he saw that was affiliated with a rival gang.
“That’s what makes it even more difficult for me, because it was for no reason at all,” Miller told Sports Illustrated. “I mean, there was no valid reason for this to happen. And that’s the thing that I really struggle with, and that’s—you know, it’s the thing that I think about every day. It’s like, I did this, and to someone who—it was no reason to do it. And that’s the part that really bothers me.”
Before revealing the news to the public, Miller wanted to make sure the most important people around him — like Michael Jordan, Phil Knight, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver– knew of his past and was surprised at the reactions received.
“I’ve been blown away by how positive the response has been,” Miller says.
Miller is now turning that haunting memory into a moment to teach at-risk kids as well as people in jail. The exec will also explain the twists and turns of his life in his book releasing next year titled JUMP: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom.