Kevin Durant is joining a very exclusive club.
Nike and the Phoenix Suns star have signed a lifetime contract, just the third lifetime contract the company has ever given to an NBA star. The other two belong to Michael Jordan and LeBron James, who are considered to be two of the all-time greatest NBA players.
Durant exclusively announced the news on Boardroom, a media outlet he co-founded with his longtime manager, Rich Kleiman, that focuses on entertainment, culture and the business of sports.
"When I first signed with Nike, I couldn't have dreamed of how far we'd go in this partnership," Durant said. "We've done amazing work creatively and philanthropically. We've traveled the world together and built a business that will now last forever. I'm excited for the future and honored to be in rare company with this deal."
Durant, 34, has been with Nike since his rookie year in 2007, and together they've put out 15 versions of KD's signature shoe. Durant wore his next shoe, the Nike KD 16, during the first round of the NBA playoffs.
Nike and Durant have done more than just shoes. Durant is an active philanthropist, focusing particularly on grassroots basketball, and Nike has supported that. They've collaborated through the Durant Family Foundation and Team Durant to refurbish basketball courts in at-need communities. According to Boardroom, Nike will continue its philanthropic collaboration with Durant.
“As one of best basketball players in the world, Kevin Durant has been an important part of the Nike family for the past 16 years," Nike EVP of global sports marketing John Slusher told Boardroom. "We look forward to continuing to serve the next generation of athletes together.”
Durant is a 15-year NBA veteran and 13-time All-Star. He has won two NBA championships and three Olympic gold medals as part of Team USA. He's also 13th on the NBA's all-time scoring list. He's currently making his 12th appearance in the playoffs and his first with the Suns. They face the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday.