How Steph Curry recruited, signed De'Aaron Fox to Curry Brand originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Programming note: Watch Monte Poole and Dalton Johnson's wide-ranging interview with Warriors superstar Steph Curry in the latest episode of "Dubs Talk," which will debut Saturday at 4 p.m., before "Warriors Pregame Live," and air again after "Dubs Talk Live" on NBC Sports Bay Area.
Fox peeped the shoes of the Warriors superstar and was impressed. Curry noticed Fox’s shoes and saw something unrelated to his shooting or passing or defense or even his footwork.
Curry saw was an opening. An opportunity that, among other factors, made Fox a target worth hunting.
“It all started because he liked the shoes,” Curry said of his Curry Brand Under Armour sneakers on the latest episode of "Dubs Talk," which will debut Saturday. “And I noticed at the beginning of last year that he was like a sneaker free agent.”
Curry’s thought process went into overdrive, and he was on the attack.
“I was looking around and was getting some calls that De’Aaron wants to rock these shoes,” Curry recalled in early November. “He wasn't getting paid for it. At that point you start to ask some questions, build a relationship. And lo and behold we're able to sign him a couple weeks ago. And we’re off to the races.”
Less than a year after the shoe admiration moment, Fox became the first signature athlete to align with Curry Brand, a division of Under Armour that launched in December 2020. Curry, 35, has been with Under Armour since 2013, became president of the Curry Brand in March 2023. In October Fox became a partner after signing a multiyear contract.
Fox’s primary traits on the court are speed, quickness, fearlessness and professionalism. After making his first All-Star team in 2023 and leading the Kings last season to their first playoff appearance since 2006, he earned the Jerry West Trophy for being voted the NBA’s Clutch Player of the Year.
Off the court, Fox, 25, has built a solid reputation for unwavering commitment to family and community.
Which makes him an ideal addition to Curry Brand, as those same personal traits apply to Curry. Choosing a business partner can be tricky – one wrong move can spoil the association – but Fox fits the Curry profile.
“We've been in the signature game for over a decade now,” Curry said. “And when you think about what Curry Brand is, which we launched a 2020 with the idea of changing the game for good. And understanding how that can be such an amazing give-back opportunity through the things that we do through the game of basketball and creating safe places for kids to go and play, programing for coaches to be trained to service these kids and just the ability to reach as many kids as possible who are interested in not just basketball, but sports in general and understanding what benefits they have.”
The mission statement of Curry Brand is to provide access for all children through a variety of sports, with an emphasis on basketball and golf.
The goal of Curry Brand is to become for Under Armour what Jordan Brand has become for Nike. A brand within a brand but so potent it stands apart. It’s a lofty ambition and probably unrealistic considering the runaway popularity of Jordan Brand even now, 20 years after Michael Jordan’s retirement as an active player.
But Curry has made a career by doing what most thought he could not. He was the third point guard selected in the 2009 NBA draft, yet he built a Hall of Fame resumé in his first 10 seasons. Fox, the third point guard selected in the 2017 draft, already has outclassed those chosen before him.
One more thing Curry and Fox have in common is a burning desire to win. It was on full display last April when the Warriors and Kings faced off in a searing first-round series that Golden State won in seven games.
The energy between the franchises grew from relatively innocuous geographical rivalry into one of high-level competition, with Curry and Fox at the center.
“There's obviously the competition on the court, and there's a healthy way of how we approach that,” Curry said. “But there's also a like-mindedness of what we're trying to do to leverage the blessings that we've had on the court to change the game. And De’Aaron as an opportunity to do that for himself with the support of the brand.”
Fox will launch his own signature brand within Curry Brand in 2024.
Aside from when their teams are facing off, Curry and Fox root for each other. Both always root for the shoes, no matter the circumstances, and likely will for years to come.