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Durant’s new lifetime contract with Nike comes as Booker’s signature shoe looms

The Phoenix Suns All-Stars are getting big new merch deals

2023 NBA Playoffs - Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

On the court, Devin Booker has been the alpha leading the Phoenix Suns despite the acquisition of a big fish like Kevin Durant. However, when it comes to shoes, Durant’s the one leading the way still.

Booker’s relationship with Nike dates back to the early stages of his career, including a cartoon-ized Booker appearing in a TV ad where he claims he’ll “take [the Suns] to their first title.” He’s also already released multiple “player edition” shoes, including the recent Zoom GT Cut 2.

Nike was involved early with Durant as well, even predating his time in Oklahoma City going all the way back to 2007 when he started his career in Seattle. The partnership has since led to 15 signature shoes with a 16th announced earlier this month. Deeply rooted in basketball culture, there’s also the AAU program that Durant started through Nike, Team Durant, which competes on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Because of all he’s meant to Nike and basketball in general, Durant has earned a lifetime contract from the apparel company, as Durant’s media outlet Boardroom reports. From their story:

The lifetime partnership will continue to include footwear, apparel, and a community and philanthropic collaboration focused on grassroots basketball. With this deal, Durant joins an elite group of Nike athletes, and follows Michael Jordan and LeBron James before him in the basketball division.

“When I first signed with Nike, I couldn’t have dreamed of how far we’d go in this partnership. We’ve done amazing work creatively and philanthropically. We’ve traveled the world together and built a business that will now last forever. I’m excited for the future and honored to be in rare company with this deal,” Durant said on the occasion.

Nike EVP of Global Sports Marketing John Slusher said, “As one of best basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has been an important part of the Nike family for the past 16 years. We look forward to continuing to serve the next generation of athletes together.”

Now as Durant preps for a 16th signature shoe and a lifetime of Nike, Booker preps for his very first signature shoe, which is set to release in for Holiday 2023, as Sole Retriever reports. He becomes one of Nike’s premiere young athletes alongside Ja Morant, whose Ja 1 has already released.

For those especially inclined to follow sneaker storylines, be on the lookout the rest of these playoffs for possible games where Durant may don the KD 16 or Booker may don the D Book 1, as its called.

May 3 Update: Adjusted to properly credit Sole Retriever instead of SneakerFiles for the correct Booker signature shoe info. They add more info from their story that includes the first colorway which will be “clay orange” with an initial retail price of $150. View their full story here.

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