Deandre Ayton has joined Marvin Bagley as the face of PUMA basketball. The incoming-rookies spoke to Bleacher Report about their decision to buck the trend and sign with one of basketball’s OG brands. Bagley’s signing was announced a few days ago.
Ayton said he knows he’s doing something different, but that he and his family are “comfortable with our decision, very comfortable with our decision. We have no worries at all.”
Ayton could be the number one pick in this Thursday’s draft. The 7-1 big man averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds during his lone season at Arizona.
Bagley told Bleacher Report that he likes the idea of being different.
“I chose Puma because I wanted to be different. I saw an opportunity where I could come in and build from the jump and work to get to a certain level.”
While Bagley scoffs at the idea of chasing the money, and says this is part of a “vision” he has, Ayton admits it was a factor in signing with Puma.
“Nike is Nike,” he says. “Adidas is Adidas. I’ve played in their circuits and stuff like that, but now it’s a business. You don’t want just product. You’re not a kid anymore. You’re really trying to get bank. That’s about it.”
The last time PUMA had an endorser in the NBA was 1998, when Vince Carter wore the PUMA Cell Origin Mid.
Clyde Frazier, of course, is PUMA’s OG, getting his own kicks back in 1973.
Ayton and Bagley will unveil PUMA’s new basketball sneaker at an upcoming date.
“I tried it on, worked out in it a little bit, got some shots up and jogged around in it,” Bagley says. “It felt pretty good. It felt good around my feet. I’m very excited where it can get to. It’s a great shoe. It’s stylish. You can wear it on the court, and it looks like you can wear it off the court. It’s going to be a good shoe, and I’m excited for it to be released.”
“It was like a shoe that was mad comfortable,” Ayton says. “Usually when I try on a shoe, I have to wear my custom insoles in them. I didn’t really have to try any insoles to put them on or play in them.”
Both big men say that their signature sneakers are in the works, too.
They join Skylar Diggins-Smith, Rihanna, The Weeknd and first round draft prospect Zhaire Smith on Puma’s list of endorsers.