Nike owned the first opportunity to keep Stephen Curry in the 2013 offseason after the 28-year-old came off a season starting 78 games and led the Golden State Warriors to the Western Conference semis. However the most powerful sports apparel company in the world pitched the point guard having failed to recognize the potential of Curry to become a superstar.
“They have certain tiers of athletes. They have Kobe (Bryant), LeBron (James) and (Kevin) Durant, who were their three main guys. If he signed back with them, we’re on that second tier.” Dell, Curry’s father said, as reported by ESPN.
Steph Curry had a Nike connection well before 2013 as his godfather, Greg Brink was an employee of the company. Curry wore Nike in his college years and still keeps the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse which he wore at the Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28, 2013 in his 54-point breakthrough game.
“I definitely kept all my favorite (shoes) just as a memory of where my career has gone.” Curry said.
Nike had all the advantage in the world to grab Curry’s signature, however they seemed to lack interest from the beginning. The meeting between both the parties which took place on August at the Oakland Marriott was devoid of Lynn Merritt, who is a famed Nike power broker and an adviser to LeBron James.
This was not the only time when Nike displayed their lack of interest in Curry. Previously, the man from Akron, Ohio was not given a chance to lead a Nike-sponsored camp for up-and-coming players.
“That summer, when it was really decision time, (Nike) were looking at Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis coming up. They gave Kyrie a camp and they gave Anthony Davis a camp. Thy didn’t give Steph a camp.” Chris Strachan, Curry’s former roommate stated.
Owing to the lack of interest from the American multinational company and Steph Curry’s hunger to prove people wrong, an Under Armour athlete was born.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikipedia.org