Kawhi Leonard Signs Sneaker Deal with New Balance
Look, I love New Balance. They hold a special place in my heart, but the hardwood isn’t where they belong. Which is why I’m asking Kawhi; Why?!
The Toronto Raptors star crazily turned down an extension with Jordan Brand earlier this year, opening up his free agency in on-court footwear.
Many sneakerheads will be asking why, too. But for Leonard, there were rumors of disputes to his contract and/or internal problems causing his exit from the Jumpman Brand.
And, as expected, it didn’t take long for the NBA Finals MVP to find a suitor.
Yahoo Sports reports that Leonard has agreed to a multiyear endorsement deal with New Balance.
He will become the face of New Balance basketball, as the brand looks to push its way back into the booming segment of the sneaker market. Leonard will join NBA prospect Darius Bazley, who is currently working for New Balance as an intern.
We’re still not sure what to make of it from Jordan Brand’s perspective — yes, they lost a star athlete from their roster, but he was almost impossible to market; perhaps the reason why the 2-time NBA All-Star never gained any traction in the signature sneaker market, which will now be a certainty at NB.
No other details of the deal were provided, including the sign-on amount and NB’s plans for Kawhi, so stay tuned for more.