Kevin Durant signs with Nike through 2024. LeBron James approves.

September 2, 2014

Last month, Nike put Kevin Durant to work building playgrounds in Oklahoma areas damaged by tornadoes in May 2013. (Brett Deering / AP Images for Nike)

The high-stakes battle between Under Armour and Nike to sign Kevin Durant ended Sunday evening when Nike chose to exercise its contractual option and match Under Armour’s gigantic offer to Durant.

Durant’s seven-year deal with Nike expired Sunday and, by Sunday evening, the Oklahoma City Thunder star was announcing that he was indeed staying with Nike, signing a contract that runs through the start of the 2024 season, according to ESPN.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Marc Stein and Darren Rovell reported that the offer was in the very plush neighborhood of $265 million-to-$285 million. Another of Nike’s big-name NBA clients approved of the deal.

The deal keeps Durant with Nike well into his prime, but has significance for the company that represents him, too. From USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt:

While the final dollar amount is expected to rival and perhaps surpass what Under Armour offered, this is a coup for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which proved it can procure a financially significant endorsement deal.

The 10-year deal with Nike has the potential to reach $300 million and includes a $50 million retirement package, two people familiar with the terms of the deal told USA Today Sports.

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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Matt Bonesteel · September 2, 2014