Remember 2 years ago? Steph Curry set the world ablaze with unstoppable 3 point shooting, dazzling crossovers, and then he capped it off with an NBA championship. Then last year he did even better. He improved statistically across the board and won the MVP unanimously. He made shots that couldn’t have been made by anyone else. He defeated Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the Western Conference Finals and then lost to LeBron in a grueling 7 game series.
Over the course of those 2 years, Steph wasn’t just the face of the Warriors, or the face of the Bay Area, he was the face of the entire NBA. Everyone liked a guy that was clean cut, and wasn’t a physical specimen. It made him relatable, and excited fans and youth that they too could be great at basketball by dribbling and shooting.
We all know what happened next. Durant decided to make the Warriors a super team. In the process one key point was lost in translation. Nike. Nike secretly won the off-season. By far! Here is why…
In the last 2 years, Under Armour was the up and coming brand. Steph signed with Under Armour over Nike and then Steph blew up. Steph owned the spot light and then Under Armour relished in his success.
This is where things get interesting. When Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors he brought one of the biggest Nike contracts with him. KD is one of the few NBA athletes that have a “signature shoe deal.” Meaning an athlete that has his or her own custom shoe. By KD moving to the Warriors, Nike gets to eat into Under Armour’s market share.
When you think of the NBA, it’s obvious the finals will be Warriors VS Cavaliers. Nike has 3 signature shoe athletes that will be playing in the finals. KD, Kyrie, and a guy named LeBron James. Under Armour will have one. Steph.
Kevin Durant not only is taking away from Steph’s stats, he’s also taking away from his face time. When you hear about the Warriors this year, you hear things like,
“How is KD fitting in?”
“KD vs Westbrook.”
“KD’s efficiency rating.”
There isn’t a whole lot about the back-to-back MVP. It also doesn’t help that the rest of the NBA is on fire. Everyone seems to have leveled up. Russell and Harden are having amazing years. The NBA is filled with stretch 5 unicorns including Embiid, Porzingis, The Greek Freak, etc. Demarcus Cousins breaking things left and right and of course KD’s drama in Golden State.
The reason I’m writing this is because when Steph Curry finally did get brought up this year it was because he was voted as an NBA starter instead of Russell Westbrook. There is such thing as bad publicity.
If Durant were still in Oklahoma Steph would be setting the league ablaze for the third straight year. He’s not. The league done changed. And Nike is responsible.