Kawhi Leonard was not always the superstar he is in recent years. Back in 2011, he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers using the 15th overall pick. However, the Spurs saw potential in him and traded for him on draft night.
This one decision changed the trajectory of Kawhi’s career, and he was nurtured into a star player by the Spurs. Although Kawhi left the Spurs on bad terms, if it weren’t for them, he might not have been a superstar in the league.
Being a superstar comes with its own perks in the NBA. Along with lucrative contracts, it enables the athletes to gain multi-million dollar shoe deals as well. Today, we will talk about what shoe deal does the 4-time All-star has and how he became part of the company.
While most superstars in the league have huge shoe deals with big names like Nike, Adidas or Air Jordan. Kawhi separated himself from the crowd and chose New Balance instead. However, before joining New Balance, Kawhi was a part of the Jordan brand.
But it all fell apart in 2019 when Nike (Jordan’s parent brand) allegedly stopped Kawhi from using his “Klaw Logo”. This led to Leonard filing a lawsuit against the company and ultimately leaving the brand that he wore for several years.
Kawhi Leonard wore the New Balance OMN1S shoe back in the 2019 all-star game. However, one might wonder what does this uncommon name mean? Well, according to New Balance themselves, the company took inspiration from the Latin word “omnis,” which means “of everything.”
The reason behind this choice was to represent the modern players that can play positionless basketball. Leonard rocked these shoes in his terrific 2019 championship run with the Raptors. When the Klaw won his second championship and bagged in his second Finals MVP, the popularity of those shoes skyrocketed.
When Kawhi was signed by New Balance back in 2018, it was clear that he would be the face of the company. According to Forbes, the Los Angeles Clippers star earns around $5.5 million from his endorsement deal. Apart from this endorsement deal, Leonard will earn over $100 million from his Clippers contract in three years, including the bonus.
Leonard is one of the most complete players in the league, and his earnings are definitely on par with his superstar status. Next season, he will be looking forward to shrugging off a poor 2020 playoff run.
The New Balance OMN1S was the first shoe that Kawhi wore from the brand, but his first signature shoe was the New Balance KAWHI. The OMNI1S will cost you $139.00, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the KAWHI is not available for sale as of now.
However, it will reportedly be priced at $159.00 when the shoe releases in fall. Until then, if you are looking to wear the LA Clippers superstar’s shoes, the OMN1S is the only option.
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