I Don't Want To Be Like Mike
A Northeast Portland man is suing basketball superstar Michael Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for a combined $832 million, claiming he's tired of being mistaken for Mike.
Allen Heckard filed the suit himself, June 29th in Washington County Circuit Court. Heckard said he’s been mistaken as Michael Jordan nearly every day over the past 15 years.
“I'm constantly being accused of looking like Michael and it makes it very uncomfortable for me,” Heckard said.
Heckard is suing Jordan for defamation and permanent injury and emotional pain and suffering. He’s also suing Knight for defamation and permanent injury for promoting Jordan and making him one of the most recognized men in the world.
Nike and Jordan have yet to comment on the lawsuit.
Nike signed Jordan to an endorsement contract in 1984, and built a major advertising campaign around Jordan and its signature shoe, Air Jordan.
Jordan, a former guard for the Chicago Bulls, helped his team win six NBA titles and is considered one of the best players of all time. He now runs a Las Vegas basketball training camp.
Heckard stands just over 6 feet tall. He is not 6 foot 6 inches like the real Michael Jordan.
But Heckard said many people seem to miss that. He does share a bit of resemblance to the real Michael Jordan. Heckard has a shaved head, an earring in his left ear, and is in good shape from working out, and yes, playing basketball.
“Even when I go to the gym I'm being accused of playing ball like him (Jordan)," said Heckard.
Most people would consider that a high compliment.
"Yes...don’t get me wrong it’s definitely a positive thing, because Michael, like I say is one of the best ball players that I've known to play the game. But then again, that's Michael and I'm me. So I want to be recognized as me just like Michael's being recognized as Michael."
Heckard agreed that not everyone thinks he’s a famous basketball player, but insisted a lot of people do mistake him for Jordan.
"I figure if I'm out in public and around a lot of people at least three or four times out of a crowd ...and like I was at the Blues Festival and you could see people they was pointing at me," he said.