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Kawhi Leonard is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time All Star, and has been signed to Jordan Brand on an endorsement deal for quite some time now. After pondering as a sneaker free agent, Kawhi Leonard has signed an endorsement deal with New Balance, and will be the face of New Balance Basketball.
While New Balance hasn’t been in the basketball industry for at least a decade, they were also originally targeting Gordon Hayward; who eventually signed a four year endorsement deal with Anta Sports, where he will receive his own signature shoe in 2019. While Nike and adidas reign over all of the other brands on the market, New Balance looks to re-introduce themselves into the basketball market, just like Puma did in the past couple of months.
It’s safe to say New Balance could bring a bit more competition in the performance footwear industry; lets rephrase that, some much needed competition. Nike has had a very successful year this year, introducing Russell Westbrook as a signature athlete with his “WHY NOT?” ZER0.1 signature sneakers, and announcing Giannis Antetokounmpo’s signature kicks will release during the 2018-19 NBA Season. What makes some speculate is that Kawhi Leonard is an MVP candidate this year, why would he turn down a four year, $22 million dollar extension from Jordan Brand?
Several factors can take that into account. Poor performing shoes, not enough pay, not enough opportunity for Kawhi to be involved with the sneakers, and many more. Specifications about Leonard’s endorsement deal with New Balance are currently unknown, but according to Yahoo ! Sports, Kawhi will in fact, be the new face of New Balance Basketball. Expect Kawhi to debut some form of New Balance sneakers on the hardwood very soon, and stick around to the site, as we’ll keep you updated with the details of Leonard’s deal, and what he’ll be rocking on the court as the season goes underway. Should Kawhi have signed with New Balance? Will New Balance give him a signature sneaker? Will New Balance surprise us basketball fans with a well-rounded signature shoe for The Klaw? Let us know in the comments.
h/t: Darren Rovell.