Puma is returning to the basketball shoe market and the NBA with a vengeance… or at least a massive budget. Last June’s No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton and No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III have both signed on with Puma, as has the Knicks‘ Kevin Knox. So has Celtics’ fan favorite Terry Rozier.
Now the company has landed its biggest star: DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins signed a new massive deal with Puma to wear their shoes, reports Nick DePaula of ESPN. Nike now has 10 days to match the offer or let Cousins go.
Puma needs to establish itself in the market and Cousins is a big name, it makes some sense for them to come in big and maybe overpay for Cousins. For Nike, the consideration is different. Cousins is coming off a torn Achilles and what kind of player he will be on his return is unknown, plus big men traditionally don’t really sell shoes. Nike may not be willing to match the offer. That said, they have the money so they could.
If you’re wondering what Puma’s new basketball shoes look like…