For you sneaker-heads out there this piece is just for you. Like those growing up idealizing and wanting a pair of the best basketball shoes made, ones that do come to mind are made by the best player of all time, Michael Jordan. Though the shoes are pricey, still getting your hands on one pair made you feel elite. Oh, was that just me?
For Spurs Forward Kawhi Leonard, in his first two seasons, he has been wearing Jordan's and as it was reported on November 2nd, Leonard and Nike are working on a deal that will ink Leonard to the Jordan Brand Family.
When you are said to be by your head coach as "the future of the franchise" and you have a chance to ink a deal with the company that a player many have looked up to to be apart of their brand, life has to be good.
The Jordan Brand family has some exclusive players on their brand not just through basketball but other sports as well. Leonard would be joining the likes of Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and other noticeable all-stars in the league.
Leonard would be the fourth player added to the Jordan brand group.
@gruelingslate You not a fan of this?
@Mike ProjectSpurs @gruelingslate Money is money and you take it if someone offers it. I am a big fan of Kawhi's but do not appreciate how Nike played/plays such an integral role in elevating the individual over the team and over the sport itself beginning with their Jordan success.
Competitive balance and integrity are such important things in sports, and I believe that Nike has had their hand in significantly diminishing each.
@gruelingslate @DifferentVSTheSame You do remember that Tim Duncan was once with Nike, right? Ever think that Timmy signed with Adidas because he liked their brand? You not knowing what the Chinese brand PEAK is is a good reason to look them up. It's other well known players in the NBA who are also associated with the company, one being a former Spur.
Y-Ball? Are you talking about the toy? You're making the claim that players are going for the money. But if I'm not mistaken these players don't play for free. A lot of them play because it's a way to make money, feed their families and do something they enjoy doing.
What does team basketball have to do with Nike? The Spurs have several players who are with or were at one point signed with Nike. Did you know Manu was with Nike and still wears Nike today? Tony Parker was signed with Nike before he signed with PEAK. Did you see recently on here that Aron Baynes signed a 3-year deal with Nike? Do you remember David Robinson and his Nike shoes? Guess what shoes Bruce Bowen was wearing a lot with the Spurs? Nike. Beautiful team basketball while wearing Nike's.
Nike is a business and so is the NBA. One thing both do well is offer something that's appealing to the eyes.
Nike creates a conflict of interest in their players because they just push to hard to separate the players image from the team and the game.
I'm not so worried about Kawhi because he doesn't talk so he would likely never be more than a prop in a commercial.
Bird, Magic and Jordan saved the economics of the NBA because the vast majority of NBA fans do not understand team basketball. This is why ordained individuals rule the game and the Spurs are considered boring despite playing the most beautiful brand of team ball in decades.
As I said, you go for the money. The NBA did. But the game of basketball has been diminished in the process all the way down to Y Ball.
And Nike has played a much bigger role than many want to admit.
@gruelingslate I believe Pop said Kawhi would be the face of the Spurs. When Tim Duncan signed with Adidas did you feel the same way? When Tony Parker signed with PEAK did you feel they elevated him over the team? I'm asking because when you look at Parker and Duncan I'm sure you think of them higher than some of the other guys on the team. What if Bonner get's a shoe deal, will you feel they're putting him over the team?
Leonard looks like a star in the making. A shoe deal is a good thing for him and the Spurs. If you notice the Spurs are showing they want to keep him. Look at the H.E.B. commercials. Spurs are trying to make him the new face. A shoe deal will give him a bigger name in the NBA as well as the Spurs. Imagine kids walking around in San Antonio, TX or outside of San Antonio, TX wearing Kawhi Leonard sneakers.
This is only opening the door for new opportunities. Spurs don't have to have be given the silent treatment in the media anymore. We can be up there with the likes of the Clippers, Heat, Thunder etc.
Kawhi Leonard as the face for the Spurs on Jordan Brand and Nike is awesome. From what he has gone through in his life and now to be in this situation is great for him most of all.
@gruelingslate @Mike ProjectSpurs Nike did have a hand in this, but plenty of blame lies at the feet of the NBA itself. Stern loved promoting Bird vs Magic, Jordan vs Isaah, etc. ESPN followed suit, as did other networks and sponsors. Nike is one tiny piece of the puzzle. Also, remember that prior to all the individual promotion, the NBA was going down the tubes. It just wasn't watchable at all. Along came individuals like, the Birds, Magic, the merger, Dr. J... Michael Jordan. Everything changed after that.