Kevin Durant Takes Jab at Under Armour While Explaining Maryland Recruits

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 28, 2017

FILE - In this June 12, 2017 file photo, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant reacts after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of Game 5 of basketball's NBA Finals in Oakland, Calif. A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Durant has agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth about $53 million to remain with the Golden State Warriors. The deal calls for about $25 million in the first year with a player option for the second season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract cannot be signed until Thursday, July 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Kevin Durant has an endorsement deal with Nike and he toed the company line against Under Armour in a podcast interview with Bill Simmons of The Ringer released Monday.  

"Shoe companies have a real, real big influence on where these kids go," Durant said, via Josh Stirn of 247Sports. "Nobody wants to play in Under Armours, I’m sorry. The top kids don’t because they all play Nike."

"Everybody knows that [nobody wants to play in Under Armour shoes]. They just don’t want to say nothing," the former MVP added. "But the kids that play that grew up in an Under Armour system. They go to Maryland."

Durant nearly signed a 10-year contract in 2014 with Under Armour worth $250 million, but ended up sticking with Nike for a deal worth up to $300 million.

Interestingly though, the Golden State Warriors star just won his first title with the help of Stephen Curry, who is one of Under Armour's biggest stars. The two-time MVP is signed with UA through 2024.

Durant also credited the Under Armour connection with helping Maryland land recruits, even though he personally chose to play for Texas despite growing up close to College Park in Prince George's County. He explained his decision came from the fact "he didn't want to stay home."

With founder and CEO Kevin Plank graduating from the school, it remains a flagship program of the company as Oregon is with Nike. Considering the ever-growing list of schools changing apparel like UCLA, Notre Dame, Wisconsin and more, however, the Terrapins have plenty of competition even on the UA circuit.