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Pro basketball star not about to hand Nike a victory

Most people, well, acknowledge their hands. They don’t obsess over them.

Kawhi Leonard is a bit different.

If you’ve ever seen Leonard play basketball, you instantly know that to be true. He is unfathomably fluid and graceful, the star of a pro NBA team currently playing for the league championship.

And he has huge hands.

Those hands are Exhibit 1 in a federal lawsuit that Leonard filed against Nike last week in California. Leonard once contracted with the globe’s leading maker of sports apparel and equipment as a product endorser.

That relationship is now over, and Leonard wants that legally formalized. He seeks a judicial declaration that Nike has defrauded him by registering a logo he designed some years back that is intimately linked with him in a “meaningful and unique” way.

Back to the hands. The logo is a sketched and notably stylized image of one of the hoop star’s hands, popularly denoted as the “Klaw.” Leonard states that, while he once consented to Nike’s limited use of the design, he no longer does so. His lawsuit contends that he originated the mark without Nike’s input and has an unfettered right to commercially use it as he pleases now and in the future.

Nike has steadfastly fought back against that claim. Reportedly, it has told Leonard that its right/control over the logo is absolute and that Leonard’s continued use of it in any capacity is flatly unauthorized.

The battle could soon get progressively more interesting, with Leonard and his Toronto Raptors emerging victorious in the NBA championship just yesterday.

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