D-Wade Expected To Formalize Li-Ning Deal During Heat's Trip To China Next Week
Heat G Dwyane Wade will “become the face” of Beijing-based footwear and apparel company Li-Ning, with the formal announcement “likely to come during next week's Heat preseason trip to China,” according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. While Wade “declined to confirm" the deal, Heat F Shane Battier, "who has his own China shoe deal, effectively did.” Battier said, “I told him, 'Let the friendly competition begin, Peak vs. Li-Ning.’” However, Wade yesterday did confirm that he “no longer will endorse Nike’s Jordan Brand.” He said, “I did mutually part ways with the Jordan umbrella, with Jordan and Converse. I had a great nine years but we have mutually parted ways and I’m moving on.” Wade said that the departure “did not have anything to do ... specifically" with Bobcats Owner Michael Jordan. Wade was “careful to remove his sneakers following Tuesday's practice before meeting with the media.” Wade “posted a sneaker photo late Tuesday on his Instagram account next to the date 10/10, indicating his new shoe will be released next Wednesday when the Heat are in Beijing” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/3).
SHOES TO CHOOSE: SOLECOLLECTOR.com’s Nick DePaula noted the industry is "awaiting word" on what move Thunder Gs Russell Westbrook and James Harden will make. Westbrook is “said to be making his decision -- between Jordan Brand or adidas -- this week” (SOLECOLLECTOR.com, 10/1). In Oklahoma City, John Rohde noted Westbrook “wore the Nike Air Jordan1 model at Thunder media day on Monday.” Rohde: “No way would Westbrook wear Nike on the biggest photo op day of the season had he already signed a new deal with adidas." Still, Nike officials "have yet to confirm Westbrook as a client.” Westbrook “became a sneaker free agent this summer after spending his first four seasons as a prominent figure in Nike’s Hyperfuse line” (NEWSOK.com, 10/2).