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Kevin Durant Was $100 Billion Rich Nike’s Trojan Horse to …


When one talks about the biggest mistakes in sports history, several come to mind. Everyone passing on Tom Brady, the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth and many such iconic scenarios play out. Amongst them has to be Nike’s failed conquest of Stephen Curry. When they pitched him an offer, it was nonchalant. There was no dedication as reports suggested they used the same presentation they used to lure Kevin Durant as an athlete. Enraged and disgusted by the attempt, Curry would choose Under Armour.

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For them, the Baby Face Assassin became what Michael Jordan was for Nike. He blossomed into a revolutionary NBA star and gave Under Armour its breakthrough. The swoosh on the other hand were filled with regret. However, they had to stay competitive, so they found a way to dim Curry’s light in 2016 by using Kevin Durant once again.

How Kevin Durant stole Stephen Curry’s thunder


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2016 was a distasteful year for the Golden State Warriors. Yes, they set the regular season record with 73 wins. However, their egregious downfall in the NBA Finals made them the laughing stocks. In the wake of their loss, Curry’s stock began to drop. Driven by desperation, Draymond Green and the Warriors approach Durant, a free agent at the time.

We all know what followed. The Slim Reaper was unveiled as a Warrior. It kick-started the superteam era of the NBA. However, KD joining the Warriors wasn’t just a professional decision. Apparently, there was also business involved. Particularly, it was Nike who whispered in the 2014 MVP’s ears to join the Bay.

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Joe Pompliano spoke about the matter during his podcast saying, “Sneaker companies control a lot more than people think. And what I mean by that is simple. One of the examples that Ethan always talks about is Kevin Durant going to Golden State. He claims that Nike was really pushing for him to go to Golden State. And the reason they wanted him to go to Golden State was to steal some of the shine from Curry and specifically Under Armour”. 

Ethan Strauss’ ESPN piece claimed that KD and Nike became a prevalent and more dominant entity in the Warriors buildings. He observed most of the players wearing KD 9s. Additionally, Nike found the idle opportunity to fire, when Stephen Curry and Under Armour were finding a goldmine to regain their lost prestige.

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Pompliano stated how Durant residing beside Curry allowed him to share the spotlight. During the two years, they won, not only did KD get the credit, but Nike subsequently benefited. According to Joe Pompliano, if the Warriors won with just Stephen Curry, he would have become a ‘gold-like’ figure worthy of competing with Nike’s biggest athlete, Michael Jordan.


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Intelligently, they capitalized on Kevin Durant’s tremendous success, which allowed them to always stay one step ahead of Curry and Under Armour.

It didn’t take long for Curry to re-fire his reputation. Since Durant’s departure, the two-time MVP enjoyed some of the most momentous achievements of his career. He added a championship, a Finals MVP and became the NBA’s all-time leading three-point scorer, all while wearing his signature Under Armour sneakers.


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His partners offered him a lifetime deal that could potentially make Curry a billionaire one day. However, Nike’s 2016 ruse does beg the question, could Curry and Under Armour have experienced further success at an earlier time?

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