Was Nike In On Kevin Durant's Move To The Warriors?
The news of Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors over the weekend is almost certainly the biggest news this off-season. While critics have blasted Durant for "shopping" for a championship ring, there may be more to the decision.
Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) may have played a role in influencing Durant to move to the West Coast and join the Warriors squad, hoping he could steal some shine away from Steph Curry and Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA). Vegas odds now have the Warriors as a 4–5 favorite to win next year's championships.
Nike officials maintain that they just want their superstars to win championship, but this could be a strategic move to hurt Under Armour's momentum in basketball. The Warriors will be looking more like a Nike team next year with Durant and Draymond Green as Nike endorsers. Steph Curry will also be wearing a swoosh on his jersey, as Nike's NBA jersey deal will go into effect starting next season.
The addition of Kevin Durant is sure to change dynamics of the league. No matter what happens, Under Armour is still getting Steph Curry for a tremendous bargain, locked in for $4 million per year until 2024, compared to Kevin Durant's $300-million contract he signed two years ago.
The Warriors kick off their pre-season versus the Lakers on October 15.
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