By Randy Renner
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant is about to sign a historic new contract if reports out of Maryland are correct.
KD's longtime endorsement deal with Nike expired last week, it paid him about $60 million over the life of the seven year contract.
Now things are much different. Durant has gone from a promising rookie with a huge upside to the MVP of the NBA and according to a service that specializes in such things, he is also the most well-liked of all the NBA players and very close to being the most well liked athlete/celebrity in the world.
That sort of combination adds up to some really big dollars and according to various reports Durant has been offered a mega 10 year, $325 million endorsement deal by Nike rival Under Armour.
UA is based in Maryland, not too far from KD's boyhood home. In addition to the money Under Armour would make Durant its top spokesman. Nike has deals in place with several big name athletes including LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
Under Armour has been involved with football uniforms for the most part but is now jumping into basketball more than ever. The biggest hoops names they have under contract so far are Steph Curry and Kemba Walker so Durant would clearly be a huge get for the company.
Durant is back in the Oklahoma City area hosting basketball camps in Norman and Moore today and tomorrow.
He's tried to keep a pretty low profile when it comes to this endorsement deal. He told ESPN last week, “I’m just going to let my team be the ones who handle that behind the scenes, I guess. When you look at stuff like that, it’s great problems to have because people want you for what you know and do on the basketball court, the work you put in, so I’m going to continue to put my work in, let them focus on that on the other end, and we’ll come together at some point.”
Durant was supposed to have been at the Nike headquarters in Oregon earlier this week but national media reports indicate he cancelled that trip and that has ginned up the reports that he's on the verge of leaving Phil Knight and the swoosh behind.
Conspiracy theorists worry that if Durant signs with Under Armour it's a sign he may be leaning toward signing with the Washington Wizards when his Thunder contract expires in a bit less than two years.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and Under Armour boss Kevin Plank are close friends who've been involved in several philanthropic endeavors together.
Personally I think that's carrying things way too far, way too early.
A lot can happen between now and the summer of 2016.
Durant is going to sign a huge endorsement deal with someone in the next few days that will ensure his financial freedom for the rest of his life and then two years from now he'll be signing another contract that will have a huge impact on his basketball future and probably his legacy.
Things that just a few years ago he wouldn't even dare to dream about.
For now though, he's content to spend time on a couple of local basketball courts helping out kids who have big dreams too.