Suns star Kevin Durant has agreeed to a lifetime contract with Nike, writes David Brandt of The Associated Press. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are the only other NBA players to ever sign similar deals.
“It means a lot, man,” Durant said. “It’s a dream come true. It’s something that I’ve been working towards since I was a kid and having a partnership with Nike. To be in that company is a blessing. Looking forward to what we can do in the future.”
Durant’s relationship with the athletic wear company began in 2007, Brandt adds. He has released 15 signature shoes during that time, and a 16th is due out soon. The new contract will include shoes and other apparel, as well as “community and philanthropic collaboration focused on grassroots basketball.”
“I did think that if I stay focused and stay locked in to what I know I can do, I could do some big things and I can have a huge partner like Nike,” he said. “It’s just a matter of staying focused and having that endurance to keep getting up and doing this every day. So yeah, I had confidence that I can do so. But I had to put in a lot of work to get here.”
Here’s more from around the basketball world:
- The Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury unveiled a new arrangement on Friday that will move their games off cable, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The teams won’t renew their contract with Bally Sports Arizona, which has expired. Instead, games will be broadcast on free TV and will be available online through the streaming firm Kiswe on a direct-to-consumer service. “We’re not focusing on money. We’re focusing on winning, success and taking care of fans, taking care of the community,” new owner Mat Ishbia said. “What happens is you always end up making money. It always works out. We’re going to have more fans than ever before. … And more people buying merchandise because they’re bigger fans.”
- Former NBA player Guerschon Yabusele was suspended for five games following a wild EuroLeague brawl late in a playoff contest between Real Madrid and Partizan Belgrade, according to an ESPN report. Yabusele slammed ex-NBA player Dante Exum to the court, causing him to rupture a tendon in his toe.
- FIBA has announced the results of Saturday’s draw for this year’s World Cup. Thirty-two teams are in the competition, which will be held from August 25 to September 10 in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Qatar will host the World Cup in 2027, according to an AP story.