NUGGETS

Nikola Jokic leaves Nike, signs deal to be face of Chinese brand

Dec 20, 2023, 6:47 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2023, 11:48 am

Nikola Jokic and Aaron Gordon aren’t just teammates with the Denver Nuggets, the two will now be representing the same Chinese brand, according to a report from shoe insider Nick DePaula.

Jokic’s deal is a multi-year contract with 361 Degrees, leaving Nike where he had spent his entire career with. Joker has never gotten a signature shoe and has been recently wearing the Nike G.T. Jump. Jokic had a brief run in Nike Zoom Rize 2s, after wearing Hyperdunks for a long time but that shoe was discontinued. The G.T. Jump was what Jokic wore most often for his two MVPs and the Nuggets title. While he’s become an icon in Serbia, Colorado and worldwide—Nike has rarely used Jokic. Granted the star big man isn’t a huge fan of the spotlight but the most public moment between Nike and Jokic was an awesome post-title text-based commercial. Given that Jokic has been in two commercials for Hotels.com and the NBA in recent weeks, may he be growing his brand ahead of a shoedrop?

Gordon is currently on the fourth edition of his signature shoes with 361 and given DePaula’s report, some Jokers are likely coming soon. Gordon has traveled to China almost every offseason to much hype from fans for brand-related events. Michael Porter Jr. also took a trip to Asia this summer and Jamal Murray has in the past. Porter wears Puma and Murray is one of New Balance’s highest-profile athletes.

Jokic isn’t the first star to leave Nike. Steph Curry and James Harden are both former MVPs who used to be with Nike but are now elsewhere. Curry is Under Armour’s face and Harden is one of Adidas big basketball players.

As of Wednesday Jokic is still wearing Nike in all but one of the most recent photos of him and appears to be rocking the swish in Wednesday’s Nuggets game in Canada. That recent 361 spotting was about a week ago in practice. Maybe his shoes will have a special spot for his wedding ring, which he now ties to the laces before every game.

 

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361 Degrees is a 20-year-old Chinese sports brand with almost 6,000 stores in their homeland and another 3,000 elsewhere globally. They’ve dressed the Chinese athletic teams for big sporting events like the Olympics in the past.

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