Ethan Strauss' piece on how Stephen Curry became an Under Armour athlete after several years with (unquestioned industry leader) Nike, and how the titanic business of signature sneakers shadows the world of actual NBA basketball, is definitely worth your time. It is rife with odd little stories that add up to a general picture of how important these corporations are to the league and its most famous players -- and exactly how transactions of wealth and power take place. This is one of those stories:
"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, Calif., 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.
Yes! A generational icon's decision, which may have tectonic influence on a bajillion dollar industry, was influenced meaningfully by this person:
This is very good. Currys forever.
Also, go read the whole thing. If you want to understand the tightly coiled snakes of basketball and sneakerdom, or if you just want to enjoy some Kent Bazemore stories, it's great. The story above is cute (and quite possibly apocryphal) but there's sooooooo much more to this.
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