Basketball sneakers are a major business: Total sales are expected to be upwards of $20 billion annually. The biggest name in the industry, of course, is Nike, who has given sponsorships to players like Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant. However, there is a glaring absence on their roster: Stephen Curry.
The reigning MVP and three-time NBA All-Star with a good chance at making history as the best shooter in the NBA, Curry is an Under Armour loyalist, his ultra-valuable name belonging to the direct competitor of Nike. As ESPN reports, however, Nike lost Curry for a number of incredibly embarrassing reasons: lack of foresight, for one, and clumsiness, for another.
The blown deal could be blamed in part on Nike's representatives mispronouncing Curry's name in a meeting and accidentally leaving a slide appealing to Kevin Durant in their recycled PowerPoint pitch. But Curry was still wavering. Ultimately, it was Curry's adorably bossy young daughter Riley who convinced Curry to sign with Under Armour:
"My favorite story is Riley," Steph says. It's a few weeks before a final decision on the shoe contract must be made. At his agent Jeff Austin's house in Hermosa Beach, California, Curry surveys the array of shoes before him. He asks his baby daughter, "Riley, which one do you like?"
At this point, Riley is little over 1 year old. She is presented with a Nike sneaker, an Adidas sneaker and an Under Armour sneaker. She picks up "shoe one," a Nike. "Threw it over her shoulder," Curry says. "She picked up shoe two, threw it over her shoulder. She picked up the third shoe, walked over and handed it to me." It was the Under Armour Anatomix Spawn. "So I knew right then," Curry says, smiling. [ESPN]
It just proves what we all knew to be true: Nobody crosses Riley Curry.