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This weird Prince rumor has been debunked... again

A popular fact-checking website is dispelling a meme that just won't quit.

Prince may have loved basketball, but that doesn't mean he devoted his talents to designing the footwear the players use.

It might seem obvious, but that hasn't stopped the spread of a meme that states he invested in Nike and even helped create the first Air Jordan. 

Here it is, in all its ridiculous glory:

The first red flag is the whole "invested in Nike in 1971," quite a feat considering Prince was 12 or 13 at the time. 

And PolitiFact seems to agree. The fact-checking site, which normally calls bull on the false statements of elected leaders, is making it abundantly clear that this long-standing Prince rumor is completely untrue.

In fact, it gets the dubious honor of PolitiFact's "Pants on Fire!" designation, which is the most severe end of the site's "Truth-O-Meter" ranking system. 

The rumor dates back to the days shortly after Prince's death in April 2016, but as PolitiFact points out, it resurfaced again earlier this month on Facebook — hence the need for a debunking piece.

(We say "another" because a number of such pieces have been written before; Snopes did one, and Vice wrote one the same month Prince died.)

The "why" is anybody's guess, as is the answer to the biggest question of all: why would anyone make all this stuff up in the first place?

Perhaps we'll never know. But we do know that Prince didn't give Michael Jordan his big break. 

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