You Won't Believe How Nike Lost Steph Curry to Under Armour!

Stephen Curry, Nike, Under Armour

You Won't Believe How Nike Lost Steph Curry to Under Armour!

This has to be one of the sneaker giant's biggest fails of all time.

Published March 24, 2016

Stephen Curry is sitting on top of the basketball world.

The reigning NBA MVP has his defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors (64-7) in position to claim the single-season best record of 72-10 from the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls with his Dub City squad looking like the front runner to repeat as champs.

And to think, the Swoosh could have had him.

In fact, Nike had the budding superstar and the opportunity to keep him with the company, but any chance of that happening went downhill during a sloppy summer 2013 meeting with Curry and his dad, Dell Curry.

According to ESPN, the meeting started with a Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as "Steph-on," as in Steve Urkel's smooth alter-ego Stefan Urquelle, played by actor Jaleel White on Family Matters back in the day. Did theeeey do that? They sure did... and the Currys weren't laughing.

"I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before," Dell told ESPN. "I wasn't surprised. I was surprised that I didn't get a correction."

Wait... it gets worse.

Nike proceeded to recover from that goof by showing a Power Point presentation to Steph, but when it did, a slide of fellow NBA star Kevin Durant popped up, as it was presumably left on by mistake. Bad mistake, Nike. Dell told ESPN that he tried to "keep a poker face," but was sort of plotting on how his son could leave the Swoosh right then and there.

That and "they have certain tiers of athletes," Dell said about Nike.

"They have Kobe, LeBron and Durant, who were their three main guys," he continued. "If he signed back with them, we're on that second tier."

At the end of the meeting, Dell's message to his son was simple: "Don't be afraid to try something new." 

Steph did just that, inking a deal with Under Armour... and the rest is history.

In fact, earlier this month, Business Insider posted a note from Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole, reporting that Curry's potential worth to the company is an estimated $14 billion-plus!

"UA's U.S. basketball shoe sales have increased over 350 percent YTD," Sole said. "Its Stephen Curry signature shoe business is already bigger than those of LeBron, Kobe and every other player except Michael Jordan. If Curry is the next Jordan, our call will likely be wrong."

Although Nike still dominates the sneaker world, the way Curry is putting the interlocking U and A on his back is unprecedented.

Yeah... we know Nike wants to run that meeting back. Epic fail!

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(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Written by Mark Lelinwalla


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