Nike pitchman Kevin Durant slams Under Armour

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In this file photo from June 9, Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, left, hugs teammate Stephen Curry during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

NBA superstar and Nike pitchman Kevin Durant has offered up a blunt assessment of rival brand Under Armour's footwear.

The Golden State Warriors forward slammed the Baltimore-based brand during an "Ask Kevin Anything" segment of the "The Bill Simmons Podcast," in which he answered fan questions.


In audio released Monday, Durant answered a Baltimore fan's question about why top high school basketball players choose to leave the Maryland-Virginia-Washington region and bypass colleges such as Under Armour-sponsored University of Maryland.

"I think a lot of kids, to be honest, they don't choose [University of] Maryland unless they play in like an Under Armour system coming up," Durant said on the podcast. "Shoe companies have a real, real big influence on where these kids go. So, nobody wants to play in Under Armours, I'm sorry. The top kids don't, because they all play Nike … The kids that play that grew up in the Under Armour system, they go to Maryland."


Representatives of Under Armour did not respond immediately to Durant's podcast comments.

Durant's comments came about three years after Under Armour sought a sponsorship deal with the athlete, hoping to gain inroads into the basketball marketplace and build an international shoe business. Durant ultimately re-signed a shoe deal with Nike in September 2014, tweeting at the time, "Excited and humbled to sign back with the swoosh!"

The Baltimore athletic apparel maker has spent several years building its basketball business around the signature basketball shoes of NBA star and Durant teammate Stephen Curry. This summer Curry made his third trip to Asia on behalf of Under Armour to help promote the sport and the brand internationally.

Asked on the podcast if he'd talked to Curry about his feelings about Under Armour, Durant said, "No… everybody knows that."