Durant signs lifetime deal with Nike, joining Jordan, LeBron

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FILE - Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) walks on the court during the first half of of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 20, 2023. Kevin Durant and Nike have agreed to a lifetime contract, making him just the third NBA player to receive such a deal, joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

PHOENIX – Kevin Durant and Nike have agreed to a lifetime contract, making him just the third NBA player to receive such a deal, joining Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

The 13-time All-Star has a relationship with Nike that dates back to 2007, releasing 15 different sets of shoes. A 16th is coming soon.

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“It means a lot, man," Durant said Friday at Suns practice. "It’s a dream come true. It’s something that I’ve been working towards since I was a kid and having a partnership with Nike. To be in that company is a blessing. Looking forward to what we can do in the future.”

The lifetime deal will continue to include shoes and other apparel, along with other “community and philanthropic collaboration focused on grassroots basketball.”

Durant's NBA journey has carried him from Seattle to Oklahoma City to Golden State to Brooklyn and now to Phoenix. He said that even back in 2007 as a 19-year-old entering the league, he was confident he'd be successful.

“I did think that if I stay focused and stay locked in to what I know I can do, I could do some big things and I can have a huge partner like Nike,” Durant said. "It’s just a matter of staying focused and having that endurance to keep getting up and doing this every day. So yeah, I had confidence that I can do so. But I had to put in a lot of work to get here.”

The 34-year-old Durant joined the Suns in a midseason trade with the Nets. The two-time Finals MVP paired with Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton to help the Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

They’ll face the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the second round on Saturday.

“As one of best basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has been an important part of the Nike family for the past 16 years," said John Slusher, Nike executive vice president of global marketing. "We look forward to continuing to serve the next generation of athletes together.”

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AP Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.

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