Nike is fighting back against Kawhi Leonard.
The Clippers wing turned down a $22 million endorsement deal from Jordan Brand last October and elected to sign with New Balance in March. He then accused Jordan’s parent company, Nike, of claiming his patented “Klaw” symbol that appears on his branded apparel against his will.
A report from Sports Business Journal stated Leonard insisted he designed the logo in college, but Nike released a statement Thursday to clarify what his contributions to the end product were.
“In this action, Kawhi Leonard seeks to re-write history by asserting that he created the ‘Claw Design’ logo, but it was not Leonard who created that logo.
“In his Complaint, Leonard alleges he provided a design to NIKE. That is true. What is false is that the design he provided was the Claw Design. Not once in his Complaint does Leonard display or attach either the design that he provided or the Claw Design. Instead, he conflates the two, making it appear as though those discrete works are one and the same. They are not.”
TMZ Sports obtained a sketch Leonard sent to Nike in the collaborative effort.
If you need a good laugh this morning, check out the images in Nike’s countersuit against Kawhi Leonard over the Klaw logo. pic.twitter.com/6w0GlthV1P
— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) July 18, 2019
Nike’s suit went on to state Leonard disregarded its claim to the logo and used it on non-Nike clothing during the 2019 NBA Finals. It’s in pursuit of “maximum statutory damages” as a result of Leonard’s violation.
The Clippers reportedly looked into purchasing a portion of the rights to the logo in their June suit, but were unsuccessful.