Michael Avenatti is not lying low following his release from custody for allegedly extorting Nike -- instead, he's doubling down ... and throwing two huge basketball stars under the bus.
The lawyer just went on a Twitter attack against Nike, claiming the company has not been cooperating with a federal investigation into its Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) for over a year.
Avenatti adds ... "Unless you count lying in response to subpoenas and withholding documents as 'cooperating.' They are trying to divert attention from their own crimes."
The "divert attention" part is interesting -- Avenatti is implying his arrest Monday for allegedly trying to extort $20 million out of Nike in exchange for not announcing harmful allegations against the company is a distraction for its own crimes.
But then -- speaking of diverting attention -- Avenatti dropped a bombshell tweet accusing Nike of paying off 20-year-old PHX Suns star Deandre Ayton and his mom before he made it to the NBA. Ayton played college ball at the University of Arizona and was a highly recruited high school star before that.
Avenatti wrote ... "Ask DeAndre Ayton and Nike about the cash payments to his mother and others. Nike’s attempt at diversion and cover-up will fail miserably once prosecutors realize they have been played by Nike and their lawyers at Boies. This reaches the highest levels of Nike."
And there's more ... he's also calling out star Univ. of Oregon center Bol Bol, saying he and his handlers received large sums of cash from the shoe co.
Bol Bol and his handlers also received large sums from Nike. The receipts are clear as day. A lot of people at Nike will have to account for their criminal conduct, starting with Carlton DeBose & moving higher up. The diversion charade they orchestrated against me will be exposed
As we reported ... Avenatti was arrested Monday for an alleged extortion scheme prosecutors in NY say played out over the course of a few days last week. They claim Avenatti demanded payment from Nike to keep him quiet about allegedly paying families of some high school basketball players.
Avenatti is also facing more federal charges for bank and wire fraud in an unrelated case to the Nike one. The U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California claims Avenatti embezzled client money to cover expenses for his coffee corporation.
He was released Monday afternoon on $300k bond and held a press conference saying he's confident he'll be "fully exonerated."