NBA star's new shoe deal leaves Twitter baffled

Twitter was super confused by <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4896/" data-ylk="slk:Kawhi Leonard">Kawhi Leonard</a> signing an endorsement deal with sneaker company New Balance. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Twitter was super confused by Kawhi Leonard signing an endorsement deal with sneaker company New Balance. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

On Wednesday, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes broke the news that Kawhi Leonard is signing an endorsement deal with New Balance. Which is … interesting? Sure, let’s go with that. New Balance isn’t exactly known for stylish kicks, but the company is looking to re-establish itself in the basketball market. Signing an NBA star to an endorsement deal is one way to do that.

Twitter, however, didn’t really know what to think about the brand marriage between Leonard and New Balance, especially since Leonard’s last endorsement deal was with Jordan Brand. First, there was widespread confusion, and the agreement that this move was the most Kawhi Leonard thing ever.

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And some people didn’t read the whole sentence before freaking out and thinking that Leonard had signed a multi-year deal, but with the Toronto Raptors and not New Balance.

Read the entire sentence and experience the sweet relief of knowing that New Balance — not the Raptors — is committed to Kawhi Leonard for the next several years.

Then, of course, came the jokes. And if you’ve ever seen a New Balance sneaker, you know just how easy it is to clown on Leonard and New Balance.

But among the jokes, a conspiracy theory emerged. What if Leonard had picked New Balance just to dunk on Gregg Popovich, who recently said that Leonard wasn’t a leader?

Sadly, that’s probably not true, but we can all imagine it is. There is one thing we know for sure, though.

You do you, Kawhi.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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