Leo Chang, Design Director at Nike Basketball, has worked with Kevin Durant for 11 years. He designed all 11 signatures, travelled the world with him and is a close friend of the two-time champ. We spoke with Chang about their relationship.
SLAM: What are your earliest memories of KD?
Leo Chang: We’re not the loudest voices in the room. For two quieter people it takes a little longer. But it was always respect from Day 1, from both ends. It wasn’t like we were best friends [from the] first day. It was definitely a building process and took years to really get to know each other.
SLAM: When did you guys start to connect?
LC: We’re totally different cultures and backgrounds but we have a lot of similarities. Family-wise, too, I grew up with a single mother. My mother’s struggles to raise two children, to work her ass off to provide food and make sure we’re happy was the same thing with his mother and the hard work she put in to make sure he had a good life and was able to achieve his dreams. My mom definitely made sacrifices to support me in my arts, just like his mom did. Over the years we’ve talked a lot about family stuff.
SLAM: What’s it like to hang out on the road with KD?
LC: It’s pretty chill. We could be talking about music, sports or whatever. The last trip we were on, we were talking about the Boogie Cousins move and he was so excited about that.
SLAM: You’ve traveled with him for over a decade and we know you take a ton of photos—will we ever see a book of KD pics?
LC: Haven’t thought about that. That could be fun. Back when Kevin got injured with the foot he picked up photography. That’s another one we can share an interest in. He’s not as into it now, but whenever I’m on the road, I carry a camera with me so I’m always showing him pics. It’s cool he supports me in other things besides shoe design.
Photo via Nike.