It was announced today that Toronto Raptors star and MVP-hopeful Kawhi Leonard is partnering with New Balance shoes on a multiyear endorsement contract.
According to Bleacher Report, Leonard turned down a similar offer from Nike’s iconic Jordan Brand earlier this year, which has some people baffled in and of itself. The fact that he’s now decided to go with New Balance–a brand colloquially attributed to goofy dads and backyard grills–has people scratching their heads.
Leonard’s play speaks for itself–he’s a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and there are whispers about him being this season’s MVP–but his personality is famously understated, and a bit awkward.
It’s the combination of his reputation for being kind of bland, with New Balance’s reputation for being the same, that has people making jokes on Twitter that the deal is a match made in heaven.
The Hilarious Response to Kawhi Leonard’s New Balance Decision
Kawhi is sure to leave people in the dust no matter what shoes he’s wearing, and his MVP bets are safe as ever. But people haven’t been able to resist trolling the quiet superstar for his strange endorsement decision.
Here are some highlights:
The shoe’s design hasn’t been released yet, but this Twitter user has an idea of what Kawhi might be working with:
New Balance shoes are often associated with older people, which probably influenced this person’s “life alert” diss:
A variation on the same theme, this guy says his dad will be pumped about the “dad shoe”/NBA star crossover:
And here’s another preview of what the new Kawhi’s might look like:
This guy knows that there are some people out there excited about the deal:
And this guy’s gif usage doesn’t seem to imply much confidence in New Balance’s ability to break out of the mold:
It’s easy to make fun of Kawhi for the strange deal, but the fact is that we have no idea what to expect with the shoes. The deal could put New Balance on the map as they attempt to reestablish themselves in the basketball market.
The terms of the deal haven’t been released yet, but 2019 NBA draft prospect Darius Bazley has also signed a deal with the company. Looks like New Balance is making a push, so who knows what’ll happen?
At the end of the day, this Twitter user has it right. We can laugh all we want, but Kawhi will be laughing all the way to the bank.