Believe it or not, Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant will embark on his 16th NBA season in 2023-24. Durant also will debut the 16th edition of his Nike signature sneaker, the KD 16. You would think it would be something that would excite the Suns’ superstar, but in a new interview, Durant did not seem too thrilled about the latest edition of his signature line.
“It’s just another pair of kicks, man,” Durant told reporters during Suns media day, via @NBAKicks on X (formerly known as twitter). “It’s the 16th installment, so it’s nothing to call home about, brother. It is what it is, it’s KD’s. You just know they’re going to be on my feet every year.”
Nike’s official X account quickly responded to Durant’s comments.
“Actually calling home about these right now,” the tweet read.
Kyrie Irving Slammed Nike Over Kyrie 8 Design
Durant is not the only Nike signature athlete to take issue with one of their shoe designs. So too did Durant’s former teammate, Dallas Mavericks’ star Kyrie Irving. Irving’s rise to stardom on the Nike brand escalated quickly. He got drafted in June 2011, and by December 2014, he already had a signature sneaker. The Kyrie series became one of Nike’s most popular signature lines, rivaled only by his one-time Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, LeBron James.
But things got ugly between the two sides in 2021 when they clashed over the design of the Kyrie 8. The discrepancy caused the seven-time All-Star to blast the company on social media. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski says it was one of the many episodes that prevented the star point guard from inking a new deal with the sneaker giant.
“Irving lashed out on social media about the design of the Nike Kyrie 8 edition of his shoe, calling it “trash” and insisting that “I have nothing to do with the design or marketing” and that “Nike plans to release it without my okay,” Wojnarowski wrote.
“Days later, Irving issued a statement tempering those words, but that episode certainly did little to lay the groundwork for another deal centered on his signature shoe series.”
Deandre Ayton Breaks Silence Following Suns Trade
For those who may be tardy to the party, the Suns parted ways with the starting center Deandre Ayton as part of the blockbuster trade that sent All-Star Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks. Ayton was sent to the Portland Trail Blazers, and in exchange, they acquired veteran big man Jusuf Nurkic.
Ayton had a rocky last two seasons in Phoenix. And at times, his dejection made some question his commitment to the team. He will have a clean slate with the Blazers this season. In his first interview since the trade, Ayton emphasized his desire to be a team player in Portland.
“My name is DominAyton. I play with a lot of passion. A lot of grit as well, but I try to take the hypocrisy out of the game where I’m telling my teammate one thing and I’m doing the other. I’m more like a team player who, you know, I’ll make the sacrificial decision and take myself out,” he said.
“When it comes to winning, I’ll be the down-and-gritty guy to get the job done.”