NBA Rumors: Kevin Durant forced by Nike to leave OKC, re-start career with Lakers, Heat or Celtics

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Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/

Kevin Durant will hit free agency soon and NBA rumors have linked the Oklahoma City Thunder to multiple NBA teams even before it officially happens. New speculations are saying that Durant will be leaving OKC because of the pressure from his shoe company, Nike, who will prefer him to sign with other NBA teams.

Bill Simmons for his new site, tackled the issues of Kevin Durant’s free agency and had some interesting speculation on how Nike can influence Durant in leaving OKC.

“You might remember LeBron successfully reinventing himself in Miami in 2010, then again in Cleveland in 2014. There’s something to be said for a fresh start — it’s a selling point, a fresh narrative that everyone can pound into the ground. Durant returning to OKC won’t help Nike in its holy war against Under Armour unless he wins a title,” Simmons wrote.

“But Durant building his own Eastern contender in Miami, Boston or Washington, or grabbing the torch from Kobe in Los Angeles for the Lakers? Now that would grab eyeballs and sell sneakers. And Nike has 300 million reasons to hope it happens.”

In 2014, Nike and Kevin Durant agreed to a 10-year endorsement deal worth about $300 million. Under Armour tried to steal Durant from Nike but the latter matched the offer by the new rival shoe company.

Simmons added in his article that Nike might have an influence on Kevin Durant’s decisions this 2016 free agency to add more to the NBA rumors of the Thunder superstar leaving OKC.

“We’ll see how much sway Nike has, because if it were up to the company, he’d be gone already,” Simmons added.

During the season and after the Thunder choked to the Golden State Warriors in the West Finals, Kevin Durant has been in NBA rumors linking him to the East teams Simmons mentioned, the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Other West teams also linked to Durant are the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and Wizards in various NBA rumors so far this offseason.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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