Stephen Curry was a lifetime Nike user, as Ethan Sherwood Straus writes at ESPN, but he ended up making the switch to Under Armour almost three years ago.
As Straus pens, his uncle had worked for Nike. He sported Nikes in college. He initially signed with the shoe company upon entering the NBA. But once a pitch meeting went horribly wrong for the biggest apparel company in the basketball universe, Curry found his way out.
The pitch meeting, according to Steph’s father Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as “Steph-on,” the moniker, of course, of Steve Urkel’s alter ego in Family Matters. “I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before,” says Dell Curry. “I wasn’t surprised. I was surprised that I didn’t get a correction.”
It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant‘s name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. “I stopped paying attention after that,” Dell says. Though Dell resolved to “keep a poker face,” throughout the entirety of the pitch, the decision to leave Nike was in the works.
Keep in mind, this is during the 2013 offseason. No, Stephen Curry wasn’t yet STEPHEN CURRY, so it makes sense that Nike’s emphasis on retaining him wouldn’t be as strong as with other clients — like Kevin Durant or LeBron James. But Curry still boasted marketability.
He was coming off a season in which he averaged 22.9 points per game and led the Warriors to the second round of the playoffs, where they would eventually fall to the Spurs in a competitive series. He broke the 3-point record (for the first of three times) that season, too, sinkin 272 long balls.