The NBA is facing backlash from fans and sneakerheads after announcing plans to ditch the Nike brand and replace it with the brand of a popular celebrity.
Sources say LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and others have all expressed their desire to switch brands.
Nike is the company’s primary sponsor and the primary brand associated with the NBA.
Sources told The Hill that the decision was prompted by Nike CEO Mark Parker’s comments in a recent interview in which he suggested there was “no such thing as an authentic Nike.”
“I have been saying the NBA will be the first team to ditch Nike, not the NBA,” Parker told the Wall Street Journal in November.
“I don’t know why, but I’m going to make it happen.
I don’t care if it’s for one game or two games, it’s not going to be a Nike team.”
The move comes after the NBA announced it was moving its game night broadcasts from Fox Sports 1 to ESPN.
Parker told reporters in October that the NBA was considering a “narrower slate” of games and would not play games at all during the 2017-18 season.