Meet Bernard Smalls, better known as Beanz. He is the Men's Lifestyle & Pop Culture writer for Cassius Life plus handles tech and video games for Hip-Hop Wired. Beanz has been with the company since 2019 and has been working as a writer for eight years. His favorite hobbies include video games, of course, and watching a lot of movies, mainly sci-fi. He also moonlights as a photographer in his spare time. @photosbybeanz
It’s no secret that despite all of the insane free agency moves made all eyes will be on Zion Williamson. Williamson, since emerging on the scene in the NBA, has been sporting Nike sneakers. TMZ Sports is reporting that Puma has been making a solid case to the Pelicans rookie to be a signature athlete on its brand.
When Zion first entered the league most assumed he was a lock to sign with Nike. But as of now the most significant NBA prospect since Lebron James has no shoe deal and that’s all because of Puma making a strong pitch.
Per TMZ Sports:
Nike was believed to be the front-runner to sign Zion for months … with legendary former Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro telling us he thinks Zion’s deal could hit the 9-figure mark.And, with Zion rocking Nikes in college, in pre-draft workouts, and in some NBA Summer league games … it seemed like it was just a matter of time before Zion signed with the Swoosh.But, we’re told Puma — which has made a serious push in the basketball shoe space in recent years — has come out of nowhere to become a major contender to sign the NBA’s #1 overall pick.
There could also still be lingering thoughts in the back of Zion’s mind after the freak accident that saw his Nike PG 2.5 shoe explode on him. He suffered right knee strain as a result and on top of that didn’t get show off in front of Barack Obama who was in the building for the showdown against rival UNC.
If Zion chooses Puma, he will join a roster that includes fellow NBA ballers Marvin Bagley III and DeAndre Ayton. Maybe Williamson wants to do something with a more relatively smaller brand such as Puma establishing his own Jordan/LeBron-like legacy in their rebooted basketball brand. He was already seen rocking a pair of Puma RS-0 “Video Game” kicks at a Summer League game earlier this month.
If he does sign with Puma, he could be passing up on an insanely large bag. Former Nike Exec Sonny Vaccaro speaking with celebrity gossip site hinted at a potential deal between Nike and Zion could reach 9-figures. The swoosh is well aware of the competition and is trying its best not to have another near miss like they did with Bron stating that “He’s the #1 priority.”