Reports of Kevin Durant heading to Under Armour were, as it turns out, premature.
On Sunday, several media outlets reported that Nike had matched Under Armour's offer and would be keeping Durant, the reigning MVP, in the fold for 10 seasons.
ESPN.com, in fact, reported that the deal could be worth up to $300 million over that time.
That means that Nike will be paying him more than the Thunder will over the final two years of his contract, when he'll earn $41.2 million.
Why is that a big deal?
The issue then becomes who is running the show?
Is his NBA team his employer or is Nike? The answer is probably both, but that can cause plenty of issues.
Not too long ago, Derrick Rose ran into similar problems when people wondered if it was Adidas or the Chicago Bulls making the decisions as he sat out an entire season following his ACL tear. Then, he was hurt again. Ultimately, both Adidas and the Bulls lost money on their bet.
Adidas signed Rose to a 13-year, $185m deal in 2012, which makes Rose No. 13 on Forbes' list of the highest paid athletes. Kevin Durant was No. 33 on that list, but that's about to change.
Before that, Michael Jordan was the biggest basketball name to make more from his shoe company than his team. In fact, he's pretty much the standard when it comes to that in basketball. At age 51, he's still raking in the Nike money and making shoes.
In other sports, like golf and NASCAR, having that be true is more commonplace.
Why would Nike do it?
As was just mentioned, Jordan continues to age. And, while the Jordan brand continues to do billions of dollars in business, the brand needs to continue to keep new faces because of the stranglehold it has on the basketball shoe market.
"For Nike, this was nothing to them," analyst Omar Saad told ESPN.com. "They could easily build Durant's business enough, assuming normal margins, where they could generate a cash flow of $60 million a year. And Nike is really good at monetizing its marketing assets, way better than anyone else."
Saad told ESPN.com that Durant's shoe did $175 million in sales last year.
The deal is also big for the Roc Nation Sports representatives for Durant, a group led by Jay-Z. They proved what they're made of with this deal and this will only help their business in gaining more high-profile athlete clients in the future.
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