Puma is back in the business of big time basketball, and if Deandre Ayton has anything to say about it, the lifestyle company could push the other sneaker giants for the foreseeable future.

Ayton joins Marvin Bagley III in signing apparel and footwear deals with the Puma days before the NBA Draft.

“Puma is pretty popular in the Bahamas,” Ayton said. “I’ve always seen the brand growing up. [Bolt] is one of the first people I saw with the brand. It’s important to me that someone I identify with and admire as an athlete is with the same brand.”

This marks the first time Puma has signed a basketball player since Vince Carter entered the NBA in 1998, although Puma’s history in the sport dates back to the 1970s when Walt “Clyde” Frazier rocked his Puma Clyde shoes on the court while playing for the Knicks and Cavaliers.


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