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Nikola Jokic has jumped ship from Nike, signing with a rival shoe brand

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Nikola Jokic shoe deal, 361-Degrees

Nikola Jokic has decided to follow Nike’s slogan and ‘just do it’.

He’s bit the bullet and jumped ship to a rival sneaker brand — definitely not what they wanted their motto to inspire.

The champion Denver Nuggets center and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, has somewhat played the ‘Joker’ card on Nike – fitting for someone with his nickname – signing a multi-year deal with Chinese sports brand 361-Degrees.

After eight seasons wearing sneakers by Nike, with the past two years being the face of the brand’s G.T. Jump range, Jokic and Nike have parted ways in a move that is expected to see arguably the best player in the league finally receive a signature shoe.

It’s an incredible marquee signing for 361-Degrees who have a handful of NBA players on their ‘roster’, including two fellow teammates of Jokic, Aaron Gordan and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. It’s certainly worth wondering how big of an influence they had.

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Ultimately, it’s a masterstroke from 361-Degrees, who not only land a player who is in the prime of his career, plus is an MVP and in serious contention to add more silverware, but someone who can attract more names to the up and coming brand.

With the deal only just being reported, here’s everything we know about Nikola Jokic’s move to Chinese brand, 361-Degrees.

nikola jokic, nba, Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic signs multi-year deal with 361-Degrees

It’s been reported that Denver Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic has left the ‘Swoosh’ family for Chinese sportswear brand 361-Degrees.

It comes after rumours started circulating in early December that not only was Nike and Jokic set to part ways, but that 361-Degrees was hinting at them adding an MVP-caliber player to their company.

Those rumours became reality on December 20 when the Nuggets played the Raptors in Toronto, with Jokic lacing up in a high-top variation of the brand’s ‘Big3 Future CQT’ — putting up incredible numbers in his 361-Degrees debut (31-pts, 15-rebs, 6-asts).

For all of the Serbian’s career, he has played in Nikes, becoming the face of the Air Zoom G.T. Jump range — even given player exclusives with his own logo on them.

But those days are now officially over, with reporter Nick DePaula tweeting: “OFFICAL: Reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic has signed a multi-year signature shoe deal with 361. The Joker will become a leading global face of the Chinese brand.”

With the news being so fresh as of late-December, there have been no leaked images of a potential signature shoe. Although, it has been confirmed it is in the pipeline for Jokic, which would mean he would officially be a part of the NBA signature shoe list.

Why did Nikola Jokic leave the Nike family?

For many aspiring NBA players, and even for many playing in the league currently, being a Nike athlete would be an absolute dream come true. But for Nikola Jokic, he believes going elsewhere is best for him.

Despite being arguably the best player in the league right now, reports are that Jokic’s expiring contract with the ‘Swoosh’ family had not been extended and that the company “refused” to renew it — absolutely wild to think about.

Jokic is coming off a 2022-23 season which saw him lead Denver to their first NBA championship, in a run where he also won Western Conference Finals MVP and NBA Finals MVP.

The also two-time league most valuable player, was simply honoured with a Nike commercial about him, not the contract extension he was looking for, and now only six months later is off the roster.

Who are 361-Degrees?

361-Degrees is another budding sneaker brand trying to infiltrate the exclusive NBA market along with the likes of Skechers who have signed MVP Joel Embiid.

The Chinese sportswear brand is a complete success in China, returning a revenue of nearly $1 Billion USD.

361-Degrees have already dipped their toe into the NBA market, having signed two of Jokic’s Nuggets teammates, Aaron Gordon and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Brooklyn Nets star Spencer Dinwiddie.

The brand has had many ties with the Olympic Games having been the official uniform provider for staff and volunteers at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and was the official sporting wear of the Chinese men’s and women’s Olympic curling teams during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

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