Under Armour wants to break into the basketball shoe market but needs a serious name endorser and was reportedly willing to pay Kevin Durant at least $265 million over the next decade to be that guy.
But KD likes Nike (he signed for less with them years ago) and when the swoosh came in with a counter offer that reportedly could get up to $300 million and could contain a retirement package, he took it to stay home. He confirmed he is staying put with the tweet you see above.
The real winner here (well, besides KD who is about to get PAID)? Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports.
The new agency signed KD as its first big basketball client and with this they got him his first big endorsement deal — one where he stays with the company he wanted to be with all along but gets paid far more than they originally offered. They got KD what he wanted.
What does that mean heading into 2016 and Durant’s free agency? Nothing really. Durant is an obvious max player and a number of teams will be lined up to offer him that. It comes down to what Durant really wants, which very well could be to stay in Oklahoma City (they have the most money to offer and are contenders). Durant will have options, it’s Roc Nation’s job to lay them out for him.
But it’s KD’s call. So far he has gotten what he wants.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.