KD throws shade at UA.
NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant, made an appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast this week to talk about a range of topics, including why he feels the University of Maryland has such a hard time landing top basketball prospects.
Durant, who grew up in Maryland, thinks the Terrapins have a tougher time recruiting star players because of their Under Armour affiliation. He tells Simmons, "nobody wants to play in Under Armours."
“I think a lot of kids, to be honest, they don’t choose [the University of] Maryland unless they play in an Under Armour system coming up,” the NBA champion said on the podcast. “Shoe companies have a real, real big influence on where these kids go. Nobody wants to play in Under Armours, I’m sorry. The top kids don’t, because they all play Nike … The kids that play that grew up in the Under Armour system, they go to Maryland.”
After Durant's Nike contract expired in 2014, there was talk that he might leave The Swoosh for the Baltimore-based brand, but he ultimately chose to stick with Nike. His teammate and 2x NBA MVP, Steph Curry, is the face of UA hoops but the brand also has major stars in other sports, such as Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Jordan Spieth and Bryce Harper, locked in to long term deals.
That said, Nike is still dominating the basketball realm and they continue to lock up the NBA's future stars. Several of the top rookies, including De'Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum, Jonathan Isaac and #1 overall pick Markelle Fultz have all signed endorsement deals with Nike.
Under Armour wasn't completely left out of the NBA Draft lottery though, as they recently announced the signing of point guard Dennis Smith Jr, the 9th overall pick of the Dallas Mavericks. Smith played his college ball at NC State, an Adidas sponsored school, but was invited to the SC30 Select Camp in 2015 before he joined the Wolfpack.
You can check out Durant's full conversation with Bill Simmons right here.