In part one of the must-hear Bill Simmons podcast with Kevin Durant, the uncensored "social media MVP" discussed everything from the cult of Kyrie, Derrick Rose making James Johnson sleep on his hotel floor because he's afraid of ghosts and still wanting to drink Scarlett Johansson's bath water.
In part two, KD continued to "keep it real" as he answered a bunch of mailbag questions from listeners. One of the most interesting answers came when the Maryland native was asked by a Baltimore listener why more high school prospects from the DMV don't stay local for college.
“Well for me, I didn’t want to go to Maryland, I didn’t want to stay home,” Replied Durant, who would go on to become a star at Texas. “I wanted to see what’s outside of that area.”
But for other kids, Mars Blackmon might have the answer.
“I think a lot of kids, to be honest, they don’t choose Maryland, unless they play in like an Under Armour system, coming up,” said swoosh-wearing Durant. “Shoe companies have a real, real big influence on where these kids go. Nobody wants to play in Under Armours, I’m sorry. The top kids don’t because they all play Nike.”
Simmons jokingly responds by asking if he talked to Steph about this.
“Nah, but come on man, everybody knows that. They just don’t want to say nothing,” Replied a laughing Durant. “But the kids that play that grew up in an Under Armour system, they go to Maryland.”
Back in 2014, Under Armour reportedly offered Durant a 10-year deal worth $285 million. Nike countered with a $300 million deal, which led to this tweet.
Excited and humbled to sign back with the swoosh!
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) September 1, 2014
I'm not saying it was a good thing for Under Armour that they were rejected by Durant but he only played 27 games the following season because of a foot injury, while Steph Curry had a MVP season. If Durant was with Under Armour during this time, they probably would have put as much or more money and time into marketing him as Curry.
On a personal note, I'm glad KD signed with Nike because they have been kind enough to let me attend events like his KD9 reveal in Austin -- the city where he became one of the best college freshman scorers I've ever seen.
UNDER ARMOUR'S 2017 ROOKIES
10 years after the Trailblazers made the mistake of not drafting Kevin Durant with the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Under Armour made the wise decision of signing a few of the most exciting 2017 NBA Draft picks, including Josh Jackson and possible dunk contest winners (and Rookie of the Year) Dennis Smith Jr and Terrance Ferguson.
Here's a recent video of Smith dunking over UA CEO and Maryland alum Kevin Plank.