Draft day is under a week away and the best young players in the nation are anxiously awaiting the lips on Adam Silver’s phallic head to utter the words “And with the _____ pick in the NBA draft…” In the meantime, shoe companies are courting these players the same way college coaches did one year ago for most of these guys. The usuals of Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are the most normal company names that Bleacher Report alerts us to, but every once in a while, guys do something different. Enter Marvin Bagley III.

First of all, get that money, my man.

The deal is reportedly the largest for a rookie since Kevin Durant’s deal with Nike. I mean take that as you will, but that means it’s more than Simmons, more than Towns, and (most importantly) more than the great Anthony Bennett.

Second of all, I love this move from the lad.

Are there reasons most athletes go to the big three brands? Of course. Nike has the best athletic footwear on the market. Under Armour has the best athletic apparel available and is constantly improving its footwear.  Adidas has the best lifestyle gear available from athletic companies, champions creativity, and gives athletes a lot of power in that creative process.

But with those brands, you fade into the second tier. Steph Curry is Under Armour. That isn’t changing any time soon. Adidas is Harden, it’s Lillard, hell, you’ll even be out shined by the knee-less wonder Derrick Rose, who is for some reason receiving a ninth installment of his signature shoe. At Nike, you are fighting with three of the best players to ever step on a court in LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

Instead, why not blaze your own trail. And I’m not talking stupid bull shit like wearing Walmart shoes you re-market as $700 Skechers, I’m talking about the Grant Hill method. When you think of Fila, unless you’re boring and think “ew those suck I saw them at Ross once (does Ross still exist?),” you think of Grant Hill. Guys, be honest with yourself for a second, Matthew Dellavedova received a signature shoe when he signed with PEAK sports.

It doesn’t matter that Puma is a soccer brand

I respect this play because Bagley is a kid, not even drafted yet, betting on himself to build a brand for not only himself, but for an international corporation. And all of that while rocking something that no one else will be rocking.

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