While Kawhi Leonard is taking on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, he is also battling tough competition in another court.
According to court documents, the Toronto Raptors star filed a lawsuit today against Nike in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California over a logo the athlete claims in the filing to have created. (Prior to joining New Balance in November, he was backed by Jordan Brand, a Nike-owned label.)
The lawsuit states Leonard designed the logo after being drafted in 2011 by tracing his hand and adding “stylized” takes on his initials (“KL”) and the number he wears (2). It also states Leonard let Nike use the logo on merchandise while he used it on non-Nike products and without his knowledge, the brand filed an application for copyright registration of the logo. The suit also states the brand “falsely represented in the application that Nike had authored the logo.”
Also in the documents, Leonard said he has plans to use the logo for multiple things such as apparel, footwear, sports camps and charity functions, but Nike has objected to the uses.
Portland Business Journal reporter Mattew Kish stated on Twitter that Nike has declined to comment lawsuit “because it’s pending litigation.”
Since leaving Jordan Brand for New Balance, the star forward has had several wins when it comes to sneakers. New Balance confirmed with FN that the first drop of his OMN1S basketball sneakers — a two-shoe lineup that also featured a complimentary lifestyle-focused 997 Sport — sold out in less than a minute in a surprise release last month. New Balance global director of consumer marketing Patrick Cassidy stated more than 1,000 pairs of the “2-Way” pack shoes “vaporized.”
After the “2-Way” pack’s release, the shoes immediately landed on the resale market, with the OMN1S and 997 Sport selling on StockX for as much as $594 and $750, respectively. (Retail prices of the shoes were $140 each.)
Below, watch FN’s tutorial on summer sneaker maintenance.