Is Kevin Durant This Generation’s Michael Jordan? | Nike Sure Thinks So As NBA Star Inks A Lifetime Deal

Kevin Durant has joined elite company in the Nike family. The superstar forward has worn Nike shoes since he set foot in the NBA, and his shoes even caused controversy in the 2021 NBA playoffs.

Kevin Durant speaking in a post-game interview on the court after Suns close out the Clippers in Round 1 of NBA playoffs. (Photo: Getty Images)

In those 2021 NBA Playoffs, Durant had a chance to beat the Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with three-point shot but a review showed his big toe was on the line. He tied the game 109-109 and sent it to overtime. The Nets lost the series and the Bucks went on to win a championship.

Durant announced that on Friday he and Nike agreed to a lifetime deal. He joins LeBron James and Michael Jordan as the only basketball players to sign lifetime deals with the company. He also becomes just the seventh athlete to sign a lifetime endorsement deal with a company.

Durant And Nike History

Durant has released 15 signature shoes with the popular shoe brand. The KD 15s were the fifth-most popular shoe worn by NBA players this season. According to Boardroom, players wore the shoes a total of 18,751 minutes on the court.

“When I first signed with Nike, I couldn’t have dreamed of how far we’d go in this partnership. We’ve done amazing work creatively and philanthropically,” Durant said in a post on Boardroom, the media outlet he co-founded.

“We’ve done amazing work creatively and philanthropically. We’ve traveled the world together and built a business that will now last forever. I’m excited for the future and honored to be in rare company with this deal.”

Nike also released a statement in support of their newest member to the lifetime club.

“As one of best basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has been an important part of the Nike family for the past 16 years,” said John Slusher, Nike’s executive vice president of global sports marketing. “We look forward to continuing to serve the next generation of athletes together.”

Paved The Way

The movie “Air” recently hit theaters and it gave fans an insight on how Nike was able to sign Jordan before he played an NBA game. The signing of Jordan changed the predominantly running shoe brand to what it is today. The Jordan shoes changed endorsement deals, fashion, and lifted a company to the become one of the best selling shoe brands of all-time.

Durant’s mother, Wanda Durant, also took notice of the impact of the Jordan-Nike deal, but she did for different reasons. Deloris Jordan, Michael’s mother, was influential in Nike even securing a meeting with future legend.

“We need more of these types of layered stories of Black motherhood. ‘Air’ depicts the courting of a legend, and it busts the narrative of the athlete’s mother, particularly Black mothers, in such a beautiful and mind-blowing way,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

When Jordan constructed his deal with Nike he included that he got a percentage of each shoe sold. His forward thinking paved the way for companies to start offering athletes stock in the company.

He also took a hands-on approach in being involved in the shoe design. He was the first basketball player to have a shoe specifically designed for him and not just wear what the company wanted him to wear.

So, Mama Durant was correct in giving thanks to Mama Jordan and her son for paving the way for her son.

More news from our partners:

Five Adults Charged In Middle School Basketball Game Brawl That Preceded Death Of 60-Year-Old Participant

‘Women Act Too Prideful’: Woman’s Hilarious Voice Note Begging Her Boyfriend for Another Chance Spurs Twitter Discussion About Accountability In Relationships

Company Dupes Investors Into False Deal That Promised to Bring In $97B and the Endorsement of LeBron James

Back to top