Typically in the world of sports top draft picks usually sign endorsement deals with their “dream” brand or main stream basketball brands such as Nike, Jordan, Adidas or Under Armor. This summer a very unexpected yet popular brand made a giant leap back into the basketball shoe marketing business. Puma a brand who has not signed any NBA players since Vince Carter in 1998 made a jump and signed not 1… not 2… not 3… but 4 first round draft picks from the 2018 NBA draft.
#1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, #2 overall pick Marvin Bagley, #14 overall pick Michael Porter Jr, and #16 overall pick Zhaire Smith were the rookies that Puma landed this offseason. Puma began the summer of signing all of these lottery picks first by signing Marvin Bagley 5 year contact in which brings Bagley $2-3 million dollars in each year. Shortly after the signing of Bagley, the rest of the guys followed up shortly by signing their deals to Puma as well.
With targeting these younger athletes Puma hopes to begin to attract more up and coming athletes in the future. Not only was Bagley’s contract the largest rookie shoe endorsement dealsince Kevin Durant’s in 2007 it also came with an commitment from Puma to a grassroots infrastructure with the Bagley family that will be centered around skill devilment for the next generation of AAU players.
It dis not stop there for Puma, along side of these lottery picks Puma also signed two players that already have a name for theirselves in the league. One of those players is Spurs small forward Rudy Gay who signed his deal with Puma on June 20th becoming Pumas first vertern athlete for their resurgence as a competitive basketball shoe brand. This deal was a no brainer for Gay to sign because he is also signed to Roc Nations agency which is ran by rapper Jay Z who was selected as the new face of the brand earlier in the year.
The latest addition to the Puma team was Terry Rozier Celtics back up Point Guard who had a breakout playoff run after the injury to all star guard Kyrie Irving. Terry may not be a veteran but with his unique on and off the court style he will surely benefit to the Puma brand to try to make them a front runner in basketball sneakers for the first time in history.
Already with their established and trending street apparel, the Puma brand definitely is making strides in the right direction to jump back into the basketball sneaker market as well. Do you believe Puma will ever become a top 3 basketball sneaker brand ?
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Last NBA season all basketball fans watched the growth and development of Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum during both the regular season and even more in the C’s playoff run before losing a game 7 to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With the loss of all star small forward Gordon Hayward on opening night against the Cavs, the opportunity for a consistent second scoring option for the C’s was there for the taking. Tatum took full advantage of the opportunity averaging nearly 14 PPG and 5 RPG during the regular season. Not to bad for just a 19 year old rookie right ?
We all as basketball fans believed that this was the best we would see the young rookie during the 2017-2018 season, but with the loss of another all star Kyrie Irving for the remainder of the season and all the playoffs the C’s were in need of a new first option on the offensive end. Tatum took on this challenge and went on to boost his scoring number averaging almost 19 PPG in the playoffs.
The C’s came up short of the NBA finals but Tatum got straight to work during the off-season. On July 26th the young star got an one on one workout session in with the one and only Kobe Bryant. With someone like Kobe who has mastered nearly every element of the game and has that killer mentality showing him the ropes, Tatum is bound to be a force to be recon with the league for a very long time. Can not wait to see what tricks “the mamba” has taught Tatum when the season rolls around ! Do you think Tatum will become and all star this upcoming season ?
Yesterday morning the LA Rams and running back Todd Gurley agreed to a 4-year $60 million deal with $45 million guaranteed. This contracts puts Gurley in a category of his own making him the highest guaranteed paid running back in NFL history.
After a phenomenal 2017-2018 season where Gurley rushes for 1,305 yards on 279 carries with 13 total touchdowns on the season, it was a no brainer that the Rams were going to push to resign the 6’1 230 pound running back to a longer deal.
With pre-season right around corner and all of their key offensive weapons returning the LA Rams look to finally make it over the hump and be a Super bowl contender. What do you think the Rams record will be at the end of the 2018-2019 season ?
Although Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers may not have won the NBA Championship this past season the James family still added another trophy to their collection this summer.
This past weekend Lebron “Bronny” James Jr. and his AAU squad the North Coast Blue Chips went to North Carolina and won the 2018 USBA National Championship. Standing at nearly 6’1 going into the 8th grade Bronny showed that the apple does not fall too far from the tree in the James household. He may not have the raw athleticism that his father had at 13 years old but he has an elite skill set for his with still nice athleticism. Bronny can do it all out on the court but a couple things that separates him from the rest of the competition are his long range shooting ability, ball handling skills and most of all much like his father his unselfishness.
James is accompanied by other top players Rodney Gallagher who’s been showing all summer that he can score with the best of players, extreme athlete Miley Williams who even impressed Duke basketball Zion Williamson with his dunks on the teams visit to Duke University, Floor general Khoi Thurman who controls the game and seems to always make the right plays on the court , and lastly lights out shooter Gabe Cupps.
The whole James family or the nickname Lebron sr uses for his family “JamesGang” was there in attendance This last weekend to witness James Jr win the National championship. We could have just witnessed the beginning of the Legacy of Lebron “Bronny” James Jr this past weekend in North Carolina.
Watch out basketball world and college coaches because Bronny and the Blue Chips will be hitting the Highschool scene in one more year and not only is Bronny a D1 talent but this Blue Chips squad is full of D1 potential ! Congrats to the Blue Chips on their National Championship!
After the first round loss and being benched in the fourth quarter of game 6 of the series the Oklahoma City Thunder notified Carmelo Anthony that he would no longer remain in Oklahoma by the end of the summer.This afternoon the Thunder finally agreed to a deal to send former all star small forward Carmelo Anthony and a first round pick in 2022 to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala.
This trade will save the Oklahoma City Thunder $100 Million in Cap space over the next few years and will allow them to go shopping maybe for another big name superstar to play along side Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Dennis Schroder will add a great spark off the bench at the point guard position for the Thunder, while Mike Muscala is expected to be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the near future.
Anthony will be waived by the Hawks and expected to sign with the Houston Rockets to fill the small forward position in Houston after the very unexpected departure of Trevor Ariza earlier this summer.
After a long offseason to where it seemed as if the Celtics were not going to give Marcus Smart what he wants in a contract which would cause him to possibly sign somewhere else, the two ends finally come to an agreement. Marcus Smart and the C’s agreed to a 4 year , $52 Million deal early Thursday morning to keep Smart in a Celtics uniform in hopes to build on last years great season.
Smart is a hard nose defender and one of those players who happens to always in the right place at the right time on offense. Last season he played a key role for the Cs averaging 10.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 4.8 ASP. Despite the early injury to all star small forward Gordon Hayward on opening night and a late injury to all star point guard Kyrie Irving, the now young and in experienced Cs were still one game away from making it to the NBA. Taking a Cleveland Cavaliers squad led by Lebron James to a game 7 that was neck and neck until the forth quarter.
With both Hayward and Irving back for the beginning of the 2018-2019 season, the emergence of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in last seasons playoffs and now the resigning of Marcus Smart, the Celtics easily are the favorite in the Eastern Conference to make a finals run this season. Do you think the Celtics have what it takes to win an NBA finals this season ?
Despite in some people’s opinion being snubbed and not winning rookie of the year this past season, Donovan “Spider” Mitchell managed to take home an award at the 2018 ESPYS. After an incredible rookie season where he averaged 20.5 PPG, 3.7 APG , and 3.7 RPG in the regular season and 24.4 PPG , 4.2 APG , and 5.9 RPG in the postseason, he received the “Best Breakout Athlete” award at the 2018 ESPYS award show. Mitchell was selected 13th overall by a Utah Jazz that believed they would have to go through a long rebuilding process after losing Gordon Hayward to the Boston Celtics in the 2017 offseason.
Making an Instant Impact Mitchell led this Jazz team to a 48-34 record finishing 5th overall in a very tough Western conference. If that wasn’t enough Mitchell even led his team to defeat the 3 headed monster in Oklahoma City consisting of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Rockets in the conference semi finals. Many were not expecting such a great rookie season from Mitchell and that is why he was awarded with this best breakthrough athlete award.