Where would all of the NBA’s biggest shoe companies place if they were to have a 5v5 tournament to determine the best unit?
Shoes are a huge part of the NBA. Having your own shoe is the dream of many NBA players, and for the companies, having the best players endorse your shoes can bring in millions of dollars. This causes huge races to sign the best young talent to big endorsement deals. Stunts as sending a player a van of your shoes isn’t a huge deal anymore. This puts these talented players in a place of power when companies are pitching to them, and the pressure is on the companies to impress them. The slightest of mistakes can cost a company a huge player, as Nike lost Steph Curry.
With Puma entering the NBA endorsement market this summer, the field is more crowded than ever. So, which shoe company has put together the best squad?
Projected ratings courtesy of Jacob Goldstein’s Lineup Predictor
5. Under Armour
The Team: Steph Curry
Projected Offensive Rating: 120.4, Projected Defensive Rating: 105.7, Projected Net Rating: 14.7
Unfortunately for Under Armour, Dennis Smith Jr. and Patty Mills were not good enough to make the team. While Smith was outstanding last year and set the world on fire with some tremendous dunks, a -8.1 net rating wasn’t getting him on the court. Mills is a solid player with a positive net rating, but he would just get in Curry’s way.
Instead, Team Under Armour thought it wiser to let Curry play 1v5 against other shoe companies. It was a novel idea, and one that almost had Under Armour in fourth place. I loved the idea, no worries about defense, then let Curry dribble through the other team and make a magical shot. For those of you who aren’t sure if Curry can do that, just ask the Clippers.
I really thought that it could work, but then after getting into the math of everything, I realized Curry would have to shoot 66.7 percent from 3, if he shot a 3 every possession to tie. That of course assumes that the other team scores on 100 percent of possessions. Of course that is realistic given Curry’s career 7.1 percent total rebound percentage and slight frame. Any team could take Curry into the post and get the rebound should they miss their shot.
While Team Under Armour tried the bold strategy of simply playing Steph Curry, it didn’t workout for them. Perhaps bringing athletes from other sports into the fold will help them more, people like Julio Jones, Cam Newton, Patrick Peterson, Bryce Harper, or Michael Phelps. It would be another unique strategy, but after only sending out Steph, anything is possible with Team Under Armour.