Nike, Kevin Durant near gigantic deal, report says


Kevin Durant’s sneaks will still be swooshy. (Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

Kevin Durant is closing in on a gigantic deal with a sneaker and apparel company, but it won’t be Under Armour.

Nike, the company with which he currently has a deal, has exercised the right to match any rival offer to the Oklahoma City Thunder star, ESPN reports. Under Armour reportedly had offered something in the very lovely neighborhood of $265 million-$285 million to Durant, who has been with Nike since joining the NBA in 2007. ESPN’s Darren Rovell and Marc Stein write:

[O]n Saturday, Nike officials told Durant and his team at Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports that it would indeed step up enough to allow the world’s largest shoe and apparel company to keep him in its robust stable of basketball endorsers that includes LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

While the exact Nike offer for Durant isn’t known, sources told ESPN that Durant should make more — in base and royalties — than the Thunder will pay him over the next two seasons ($41.2 million). That’s why fans in Oklahoma City were nervous about a possible move to Under Armour, which could have steered him more to returning to his local roots to play for the Washington Wizards when he becomes a free agent after the 2015-16 season.

Nike is expected to ring up over $27 billion in sales this year.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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