Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid ended his sneaker free agency and made his signing with Under Armour official today. He’d previously been signed to Adidas and his deal ended with them September 30.
Embiid stated that his reason for signing with the Baltimore-based brand was “bigger than basketball.” Embiid expounded on that sentiment in his first comments as an Under Armour athlete:
“Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen … I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that. But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my brother proud.”
Embiid thinks he can change the stigma that big men do not sell shoes. He had this to say to ESPN:
“A lot of people, you know, always have that notion [that] big men can’t sell shoes. And when I look at myself … I can dribble, I can pass the ball, I can shoot. I can bring it up. I can be a playmaker. I’m more than a big man. So as far as signature shoes, I’m excited to come and break that.”
When the 76ers tip off their season October 16 against Boston, Joel Embiid will do so in the Under Armour HOVR Havoc.