Phoenix, AZ (CBS Local) DeAndre Ayton, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, shocked the basketball world when he decided to sign his first shoe deal. Instead of going with the brands that fans are used to like Nike, UnderArmour or Adidas, Ayton signed with Puma.
While the news was a shock, Ayton wasn’t the only member of his class to sign with the company, which is building out its roster of athletes as it looks to compete with the three giants mentioned above. However, there was just one problem when Ayton took the floor for his first NBA preseason game on Monday. Puma didn’t have his shoes quite ready yet, so Ayton wore Nikes with the logo taped over instead.
For The Win has photos of the taped over shoes from Monday, but Ayton explained during Summer League that Puma was still working with him to make sure the shoes fit to his exact specifications.
Deandre Ayton on why he wore Kobes instead of Puma shoes: “I love Puma shoes, but I wear size 18 so we’re working on putting a lot of technology into the shoe. They want me to perform the best way I can.” #NBASummer pic.twitter.com/HFF1SnP7zE
— Justin Spears (@JustinESports) July 8, 2018
The Nikes served him well enough on Monday as Ayton posted 24 points, 9 rebounds and three blocks in the team’s 106-102 loss to the Kings. Then, yesterday, the NBA posted a video of Ayton practicing and he was wearing Pumas at practice, so it would seem that he won’t be wearing the improvised Nikes for too long.