Moving in a Different Direction

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Jordan Brand Moving on from Kawhi

Jordan Brand Has no Plans of Re-Signing Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard

A super-max from the San Antonio Spurs was not the only thing that the new Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard turned down over the past few months.

As the new season approaches, Kawhi Leonard’s time as a member of the Jordan Brand is numbered. After turning down a four-year, $22-million extension as per Nick DePaula of ESPN, the multi-billion dollar shoe brand has opted to go in a different direction and to put an end to extension talks with the former Finals MVP.  Known for his quiet and expressionless demeanour, Leonard has become one of the most difficult superstar to market in the social media era as he does not possess the same fan-fare and personality as the likes of fellow Jordan Brand athlete Russell Westbrook.

“Would a new company be able to get the historically reserved Leonard to jump in on the arena entry trend,” Wrote DePaula. “With a series of made-for-social-media-styled outfits that have helped to raise the star power of players around the league? And even if it did, would fans find a sudden pitchman persona contrived and forced, given Leonard’s longtime disdain for promotional appearances and public attention?”

Outside of the obvious industry giants – Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and Under Armour – Puma, Li-Ning, Anta and Peak will all potential have interest in bringing on The Claw.

With the 2018-19 season nearing, Joel Embiid, Gordon Hayward, and DeMarcus Cousins are all the big names who will be entering the new campaign as sneaker free agents.

 

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