Rajon Rondo to Reportedly Leave Nike for Chinese Company AntaSeptember 16, 2013
UPDATE: Oct. 7 at 12:20 pm ET
According to the Boston Globe's Garry Washburn, the Anta-Rondo pairing is now official:
It sounds like we're just in time for the start of the season, so expect to see the Boston Celtics floor general rocking some new kicks as soon as he's healthy enough to play.
--End of update--
If you're not familiar with Anta, you better start getting used to hearing the name of the Chinese sportswear producer.
The company—with which the Houston Rockets developed a partnership in 2007—is reportedly adding Rajon Rondo as its second major NBA client. According to The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn, Rondo is set to leave Nike and join a certain former teammate as an Anta endorser.
That ex-Boston Celtic would be Kevin Garnett, who made the switch from Adidas to Anta in 2010.
What makes this potential move all the more significant is the timing.
Rondo isn't just reaching the end of a contract with Nike; rather, he's picking out a shoe that he'll presumably wear at the completion of his rehab from a torn ACL. That makes his equipment choice even more crucial, and a re-injury could be awful news for Anta's popularity.
At the moment, Garnett is serving as the captain of the "Team Priceless" campaign (h/t Redsarmy.com). He appears everywhere on Anta's official site while promoting his new KG4, and he's likely to be joined by Rondo once the reported signing becomes an official one.
KG has been promoting his new Anta shoe, and as written on the Chinese site Sina.com, he called the KG4 "very comfortable—the design features are beautiful“ (translation provided by Redsarmy.com).
In the locked spaces on the "Team Priceless" campaign, there used to be silhouettes of the four players who have yet to be revealed next to Garnett's image. Redsarmy.com put the pieces together and seems to have determined that two of them are Rondo and Luis Scola, but the remaining two have yet to be identified.
Before the silhouettes were removed, Nick DePaula of Sole Collector even suggested that three of the four could all be of Rondo.
If everything works out for Rondo and he follows the same path as KG—who has inked an extension with Anta and is now promoting his fifth signature shoe since leaving Adidas—this could be the beginning of an international trend.
Any guesses on which star signs next?