Stephen Curry is Under Armour's most valuable athlete. There is no doubt that his 3pt shot is changing the game of basketball, and making him the 'Michael Jordan' of this decade. However unlike Jordan, Curry is relatable and human. If there is any chance his shoe presence will live up to the GOAT's, well, Nike should be worried.
Before Curry was with Under Armour, he was a Nike athlete. The rumor floating around the internet is that Steph left Nike because they wouldn't allow him to put some bible quote on his sneakers, but this isn't true. It is a rumor. On Wednesday, ESPN's Ethan Sherwood brought to light how the world's leading athletic brand allowed Curry to slide by. And in this story the hero isn't Curry, it's Kent Bazemore.
The story begins with Bazemore as a rookie trying to make the Golden State team. His agent managed to convince Under Armour to sign him on two selling points. The first selling point was to sign a player in the West. The second selling point, two other players on the Golden State team had shoe contracts about to expire. So Under Armour signed Bazemore and sent him a ton of gear.
During the 2013 offseason, Stephen had a meeting about his contract with Nike. After being called "Steph-on" at the meeting and presented with a Powerpoint individualized for Kevin Durant, he realized that he wasn't high on Nike's list. Later, Nike was given the chance to keep Curry by matching a less than $4 million contract, a price that would have been a no brainer today, but Nike declined to match.
So why did Curry switch to Under Armour over Adidas? After all, Adidas is the second most popular brand. The answer, Kent Bazemore. Curry and Bazemore were more than just mere teammates, they were trusted friends. Bazemore personally sold him the idea and convinced him that Under Armour was a good fit. That, mixed with a little push from his daughter and now Curry is Under Armour's main man.
Perhaps the real question should be how Kent Bazemore convinced Jordan Spieth and Cam Newton?