Does Kevin Durant’s jab at Under Armour damage Stephen Curry’s brand?

Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, Jimmy Jackson and Jason McIntyre talk about Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant's comments about Under Armour.

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- So the Nike-sponsored Durant is now taking a shot at Under Armor. He also overshadowed Curry on the court last season. Cowherd, has Durant damaged Curry's brand?

- Well, it's-- Curry's brand is shrinking, I think, first of all.

- That's damaged.

- Yeah, it's damaged.

- Shrinkage isn't good.

[LAUGHTER]

- Good point. But I think this is the downside to adding, you know, another star to a movie, adding-- you know, I mean, listen. You put LeBron on the Miami Heat and D-Wade wasn't quite as big. And I just think this is natural.

The downside of the super team is you've got to give up some shots. And you got to give up some of your brand. And that's the downside of the Warriors.

- You have a problem with using the word damage?

- No, no, damage is-- damage seems so severe. Curry's still a global star. It's just, he is not as big as he was two years ago.

- They asked 39 NBA rookies to choose their favorite NBA player. And not one NBA rookie chose Steph Curry.

- Wow. Where did you get that?

- 39 NBA rookies.

- That's good.

- Not one chose Steph Curry. They pick Jamal Crawford, Dwight Howard--

- Jamal Craw--

- Carmelo Anthony.

- OK, that's damage.

[LAUGHTER]

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- Jeez, but anyways--

- It's--

- Let me ask a quick question about brands here, guys. Is jersey sales part of the brands? Is that part of your--

- Yeah, yeah, sure.

- Steph Curry is number one in jersey sales last year. How about, let's see here, merchandise. What was Steph Curry last year? Any guesses? Number one in the NBA.

How about endorsements? Curry was two to LeBron. I mean, if that stuff makes up your brand, he is still right there at the top of the NBA.

- You're making a good point. He doesn't get-- I don't think he gets any money for those jerseys or merchandise. He's tied directly to the shoes, which have been a flop.

- You said money. How about his contract, his new $200-million contract? Highest-paid player in the league? Face of Under Armor, Jim? Come on. Let's not say--

Well, I mean, but that's like saying Matt Stafford, 'cause he's the highest-paid quarterback-- I mean, player in the league right now. Here's my thing. With Steph, he was starting to-- to diminish a little bit anyway before Durant.

Just because I think people loved the adorable feature of him early on, cuddly, this little guy is getting it done. Then all of a sudden, it started to turn the corner. You know how it is in the NBA, in professional sports. First they love you then they gonna start nit picking at something.

Then you add a Kevin Durant, who is almost like a transformational kind of player, it did take a little bit of the shine away. And Kevin Durant is telling the truth about the shoe companies. Even when I went to Ohio State, I wanted to make sure we had Nikes.

Because we were playing in Adidas before then. I grew up in Nikes. So I get what he's saying, in regards to kids looking at it from a different perspective. But I do think Steph Curry was starting to get a little bit of backlash, even before Kevin Durant came in there.

- Is it possible the loser's Under Armor, not as much Steph?

- There you go.

- Now, Under Armor stock's down 40%.

- They both got to lose. Steph's tied to Under Armor. He's a part of the narrative that Under Armor's going down.

- Yeah, but if Nike has a bad year of earnings, Michael Jordan's still Michael Jordan. A player can separate to some degree.

- Cam Newton in Under-- plus Under Armor.

- But-- but what's the difference with Under Armor? Under Armor doesn't have a lifestyle brand, OK? Adidas and Nike, if you're talking about lifestyle and a younger generation, it's all about that.

When you throw on some Air Force Ones, you're going back old school. When you throw some shell toes like I have on right now with Adidas, it's you're talking about a lifestyle brand. Under Armor hasn't crossed that threshold yet. They're still trying to figure out the athletic side, let alone--

- They've been around 5 to 10 years, Jim?

- What'd you say?

- No, they've been around longer than that.

- Under Armor, like 5, 10? Nike's been around like, 30 or 40.

- Now, but-- but I'm saying, when you're talking about losing market share and how you're going to dominate and-- and play in this market, you have to start to transition over, just like Nike and Adidas did, in regards to we're just not a "sports" brand, we're a "lifestyle" brand. And that causes people to go out and really want to market and buy your products.

- You know, it-- it is interesting though, that we're discussing this, right? And so if we're discussing it, I mean, Kevin Durant's like, everybody's talking about it. I do wonder if it will have an impact going forward with joining star teams, that you will say-- now, I mean, people are watching the Under Armor stock go down.

So all these other shoe companies are like, are they going to have the influence to say Chris Paul, you're not going to go play with LeBron? Will this-- will this have a reverb effect?

- I want to I want to go a step further and-- and wonder if Under Armor isn't going to try to exercise some influence over Steph Curry--

- And move in.

- --at some point, and say, look man, we're paying you more than the Golden State Warriors. We're paying you more than anybody to sell these shoes. And it's hard to sell these shoes when Kevin Durant is so much better than you on his team--

- And is ripping you.

- --and is--

[LAUGHS]

Seriously. And so I can see Under Armor is asking this dude, maybe you'd sell more shoes out of Charlotte with Michael--

- Didn't-- didn't Curry just have the greatest Finals of his career, 26, 9, and 8? I mean, he was tremendous in the Finals. He's got two rings, two MVPs. Guys--

- And you're the only one that follows through.

- But I am the president of the Steph Curry fanclub.

[LAUGHS]

- But that's not going to-- that's not going to sell shoes. Because the shoes are not attractive. They're not cool. But that's just a slice of the whole brand, Jim.

- But-- but that's-- that's what we're hold-- that's what we're talking about. But what-- Under Armor, what do you have? Football and basketball.

- And baseball, Bryce Harper.

- Football and basketball. OK? Football and basketball. That's what's going to really sell. You're going to go out and sell some-- some cleats that you can wear around in the street? No. You can't.

- Yeah.

[LAUGHS]

- You can't do it.

- But listen, the bigger story is, Kevin Durant just ripped Under Armor.

- Yeah.

- Under Armor represents Steph Curry. You don't think they called Steph Curry? To your point, listen, we know that if you're Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, or you're the new coach at Texas, there are boosters you answer to. OK?

You tick off the wrong booster, you can be out of a job at Ohio State or Alabama or Auburn. Bottom line is, Under Armor heard those comments. We're talking about those comments. This is a discussion now with Steph and Under Armor.

- But what do you think it leads to?

- Well, I-- I'm just saying--

- New location for Steph.

[LAUGHTER]

- Oh, come on.

- I'm serious.

- Yeah, let's get him to Charlotte. Yeah, let's go.

- Eventually--

- He was a better attraction without Kevin Durant. Would you admit that?

- He's not Kyrie-- He's not Kyrie Irving.

- Was he a better attraction without-- without Kevin Durant?

- No. Now they're one of the most-- best dynasties in NBA history. That's much better than just winning 67 games.

- Steph feels to me smaller today than two years ago.

- Feels damaged, doesn't he? Feels damaged.

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