New Balance Canada was put in an awkward position when Kawhi Leonard became a Clipper. The Canadian branch of New Balance — the athletic apparel brand that Kawhi signed an endorsement deal with back in 2018 after ditching his contract with Jordan Brand — had no problem selling out the Board Man's gear when he played for the Raptors. Especially when he led them to a championship victory. However, since he left, the term “Fun Guy” just seems to leave a bad taste in fans' mouths.
New Balance announced its new spring line on Tuesday. The brand attempted to market the new line under the idea that Canadian fans should not let the player be forgotten. “Don't let the memory fade, our full line of spring basketball apparel is now online,” the post reads. Seems harmless right? I mean surely there are still some Kawhi fans left in the north.
Based on the comments, though, most people don't seem interested in buying any more "Fun Guy" merch now that he's no longer a Toronto Raptor.
During his time with the Raptors, Kawhi’s New Balance gear was a hot commodity. The brand would announce the drop of their latest Board Man apparel and would completely sell out within minutes. It happened with the limited-edition Kawhi 2-Way Pack sneakers and it happened with the “Fun Guy” t-shirts during the NBA Finals. It was pure Kawhi mania.
Some of Kawhi shoes were in such high demand during the Raptors groundbreaking 2018-2019 season that they were reselling for upwards of $1,000 on StockX.
Kawhi Leonard was spotted in California earlier this month sporting a fresh pair of New Balance 997 collaboration sneakers, which feature an animal print. At the moment, there are no details on when the new shoes will be released, but they are likely to be popular — just maybe not in Canada. Sorry, not sorry.