Just before he dropped 40 points against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Greek Freak, Giannis Antetokounmpo, shared a video on his social media account announcing that he will stay with the Nike family.
Nike or Antetokounmpo has yet to announce the terms of the contract but it is expected to be the most lucrative shoe deal for a foreign player, rivaling Kristapas Porzingis's deal with Adidas. A signature line for the Greek Freak is also in the future.
Antetokounmpo's initial four-year deal with Nike expired October 1st, which made him the biggest shoe free agent. Adidas and Li Ning made their attempts to snag the Greek phenom. Antetokounmpo has the ability to transcend the sport and sneaker deals for big men, similar to Kevin Durant who is currently on his 10th signature line. What makes Antetokounmpo so special is his following in the European market. Hailing from Greece, he already has a strong global fan base despite playing in one of the smallest markets in the NBA.
Last season, Nike declined to match Adidas offer to sign Porzingis. Nike's goal was obviously to keep one of the two, both leaders of the new generation of European players.
Antetokounmpo will wear player editions of the new Kobe AD, which are expected to drop November 22nd. Kobe challenge the Greek Freak to win the MVP title prior to this season and so far, he is on pace, currently leading the NBA in scoring. An MVP caliber season will give Nike great momentum for a shoe release in late 2019.