We figured we should hit Baron up directly for his thoughts on the split and his recent non-LN footwear choices.
CounterKicks contributor Chris Cason, a Chicago Bulls reporter for Examiner.com and CSNChicago.com, spoke with Baron on Tuesday following the Knicks morning practice session around 11 a.m. inside the United Center.
Here’s the Beard’s exchange with Chris:
CounterKicks: You’ve been in Li-Ning for the last few seasons, why the switch to Nike?
Baron Davis: It’s not really like a switch up. I’m just trying different shoes right now. I’m just kind of exploring some different shoes and seeing what I like and what I need at this point.
So you’re like a free agent at this point?
Davis: Almost, yeah.
Can you talk about your relationship with Li-Ning?
Davis: It’s been a great relationship. I think we were on to something as far as bringing a Chinese brand here to the U.S. and make it cool, make it fresh, make it urban and make it have that street influence. We still have a working relationship and contractual ties and hopefully I’ll get to continue to do some things with them.
Sounds like a nice, mutual brand split, with Baron spinning the sponsor separation in an optimistic light.
The only part that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense is Baron saying there’s still “contractual ties” to Li-Ning when his primary endorsement contract with the company was essentially just terminated and even if what he’s saying were the case (which it isn’t), it makes even less sense then to wear a competitors footwear brand if it were true — and that’s something Baron readily admits he’s doing and trying out at the beginning of this brief chat. To Baron’s last statement about potential new arrangements with Li-Ning, that of course is always a possibility. We haven’t heard anything to that end yet, though.
Back to our man Chris Cason and his BD meetup in Chicago. Chris tells us Baron’s practice shoes were the same as his Tuesday night game time choice against the Bulls: the Nike Zoom Kobe VI in a “Duke” blue style.
After the Knicks shootaround practice finished, Baron changed out of his Duke Kobe’s and put on another pair of Nike sneakers — the Zoom Kobe VI again, but this time in a bright “Chaos” colorway — to board the team bus back to the hotel.
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