Jordan Brand chairman Larry Miller is revealing a lot about his past.
Prior to the release of his upcoming autobiography Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom, Miller discloses a secret he’s kept to himself for decades.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Miller admitted to killing an 18-year-old in 1965 when he was 16. While he spent time in prison for the crime, he says he still expresses deep regret and that the shooting “was for no reason at all.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
The shooting occured when Miller and other members of West Philadelphia’s Cedar Avenue gang were looking for retribution after one of their own had been killed in a fight by a rival gang. Miller says he shot the first person he and his fellow gang members came across – an 18-year-old later identified as Edward White.
“We were all drunk,” Miller told the magazine of that night. “I was in a haze. Once it kind of set in, I was like, ‘Oh, shit, what have I done?’ It took years for me to understand the real impact of what I had done.”
Miller is hoping his story can help at-risk youth and people who are incarcerated.
“If I could go back and undo it, I would absolutely do that,” he said. “I can’t. So all I can do is try to do what I can to help other people and try to maybe prevent this from happening to someone else.”
In regards to letting his colleagues at Jordan Brand and in the NBA know about his past crime, Miller said he was extremely nervous.
“I was definitely nervous about sharing with him, just because I have so much respect and love for MJ,” he said of telling Michael Jordan. But Miller has been “blown away by how positive the response has been,” he said, adding that it’s been “freeing.”
Miller co-wrote his memoir with his oldest daughter, Laila and it is set for release early in 2022. He says that he’s being open about his past to sidestep any leaks about what he’s done before the book’s publication. “This was a really difficult decision for me,” Miller said, “because for 40 years, I ran from this. I tried to hide this and hope that people didn’t find out about it.”
He built a successful career with companies like Campbell Soup, Kraft Foods, the Portland Trailblazers where he served as team president, Nike, and is now chair of the Jordan Brand, according to SI. But he also experienced migraines and nightmares that stayed with him for years and even hospitalized him.
But he has also received support for being so open from individuals like Jordan, Nike founder Phil Knight, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and legendary college basketball coach George Raveling.
“It’s freed me,” he said. “I feel the freedom now to be me.”
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