When Steph Curry left Nike for Under Armour in the late summer of 2013 everyone saw it as the equivalent to a music artist leaving Interscope Records for Koch Records (no shots). It had been widely reported that Steph and his camp felt that Nike didn’t see him as a superstar athlete and treated him like a Nightwing to LeBron’s Batman and Kyrie’s Robin.
Truth be told who could blame them? The baby-faced assassin had been battling ankle injuries year in, year out and up to that point and hadn’t realize his full potential.
According to an article on ESPN True Hoop, after Nike didn’t give Curry the opportunity to lead a Nike basketball camp for up-and-coming players (Anthony Davis and Kyrie Irving got the nod instead), the writing was on the wall and Steph and his team began looking at the exit.
Still, Nike had the chance to retain the services of the future MVP and NBA champion with a meeting in Oakland to demonstrate just how much the brand wanted to keep doing business with Steph Curry. The meeting was spearheaded by Nike rep, Nico Harrison, who during the sit down not only mispronounced Stephen Curry’s name by calling him “Stephon” like he was a geek by day and baller by night (Family Matters reference), but also opened up a PowerPoint presentation for the Curry camp that was meant for Kevin Durant.
They probably would’ve gotten away with the mistake had the presentation not still had Kevin Durant’s name plastered on it. The writing was no longer on the wall nor was it going to be on any future contracts with Nike. Steph picked up his ball and went home.
A few weeks later Steph signed a deal with Under Armour and the rest is history. Because of his success, popularity, and admiration, Curry’s value to Under Armour is currently valued around the $14 billion ballpark.
It’s always been said that hindsight is 20/20, and had Nike seen this coming you can bet your bottom dollar they would’ve went above and beyond to keep the current best player in the world (sorry LeBron) on their roster. Who knows, maybe they would’ve splurged on an original PowerPoint presentation just for him.
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