The Reemergence of Puma Hoops


Eytan Stanton

Dilan Minutello ‘19 kicks the ball during a Boys’ Varsity Soccer game. Minutello has great things to say about the progress of the Puma company.

Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour have been a staple amongst the elite basketball endorsement companies for decades. However, with Puma now signing young and marquee players, it is clear that Puma is challenging the “big dogs.”

Puma started off as a family company created together by two brothers, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler. After the Dasslers had a falling out, they created two competing enterprises: Puma and Adidas. In the past, Puma has worked with basketball stars such as Walt “Clyde” Frazier in the 70’s and famously Vince Carter in the 90’s.

Esh Chhura ’19, a fan of Carter, added, “I’ve followed Vince Carter my whole life. From early references in hip-hop, to rewatching his highlights in vintage Pumas, to seeing how he truly makes basketball an art. I can’t wait to see these prospects fly in the new generation of Puma Basketball shoes,” Chhura said.

“Puma is back in the basketball market after decades and people are intrigued,” said Chris Chase of

After two short years, Carter nixed his ten year endorsement deal because he felt that he was underpaid. Consequently, the company disappeared from the basketball world entirely. However, Puma has started to make a financial comeback, signing promising players such as DeAndre Ayton, Kevin Knox, and established player and Celtics guard Terry Rozier. Puma has also shown their ability to expand into a bigger market by signing Skylar Diggins-Smith of the WNBA.

Puma has already made an impact on other sports, such as cricket, tennis, wrestling, and soccer. Dilan Minutello ’19, a fan of the Italian soccer team, praised Puma’s recent efforts. “I have a great recollection of Fabio Cannavaro lifting the World Cup trophy in 2006 while donning a Puma kit. The success of the Italian National Team has ironically coincided with the success of Puma,” Minutello said.

The company has followed up their endorsements with the release of the shoe “Clyde Court Disrupt” in three different colorways. Endorsed players will don the shoes at the start of the new NBA season. “Sneakerheads,” or sneaker enthusiasts, have gotten their hands on the shoes, and the reviews have generally been positive.

“Puma is back in the basketball market after decades, and people are intrigued,” said Chris Chase of

Chase also mentions how Puma is giving companies a run for their money. “This brand as far as its basketball market is really pushing things right now, and they actually have a couple of brands shook up at the moment,” Chase noted.

Many people may compare Puma’s aggressive strides to the strategies of other companies such as Adidas and Under Armour, or foreign brands such as Li-Ning and Anta. These companies try to sign marquee players in order to lure other athletes to their lines. However, Puma, is doing this after nearly two decades away from the basketball industry.

Many believe that the company is headed in the right direction, and many basketball fans, reporters, and critics believe that Puma might be the next game-changer in the basketball industry. Only time will tell if these notions become true.