By George Economus
Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas have dominated the NBA in years past. Puma has been irrelevant in basketball in the past two decades with their last star being Walt “Clyde” Frazier in the 1970s. However, Puma decided to give basketball another chance.
This year Puma signed 4 major draft prospects: Deandre Ayton (the 1st overall pick), Marvin Bagely III (the 2nd overall pick), Michael Porter Jr. (14th overall pick), and Zhaire Smith (the 16th overall pick). Along with these top draft picks, Puma also signed a 31 year old Rudy Gay. Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagely are players who are expected to immediately impact the NBA both being big men who both excelled in college last year. Michael Porter Jr. on the other hand was expected to be a top pick this year but fell in the draft due to having surgery last year
So, why would these players choose Puma over Nike, Under Armour, or Adidas? There are three possible answers to why in my opinion:
1. Money: It just makes sense that Puma got these athletes due to giving these young players big contracts. It was reported that Puma offered the highest paying deal to any rookie since KD in 2006.
2. To Be Different: Wanting to pave their own path rather than following hundreds of athletes who chose Nike, Under Armour, or Adidas.
3. Jay-Z: Who was hired as head of basketball operations and must be making a lot of moves.
Now that the deals have been made, what are the shoes going to look like?
The shoes will probably look like the rest of their sneakers but high tops.
Seeing what Jay-Z has done so far, I expect more top draft picks to want to sign with Puma in the future.