Kawhi Leonard isn’t just battling the Golden State Warriors — he’s going to war with Nike over his own logo.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Leonard claims that he created a unique logo for himself after he was drafted to the NBA in 2011.
“Leonard traced his notably large hand,” the lawsuit states, “and, inside the hand, drew stylized versions of his initials ‘KL’ and the number that he had worn for much of his career, ‘2.’”
He claims that as part of his endorsement deal with Nike several years later, he “allowed Nike to use on certain merchandise the logo he created while Leonard continued to use the logo on non-Nike goods.”
But, he claims that unbeknownst to him, “Nike filed an application for copyright registration of his logo and falsely represented in the application that Nike had authored the logo.”
Kawhi Leonard claims that he wants to use the logo for “clothing lines, footwear and on other products and, among other things, in connection with sports camps and charity functions, but Nike explicitly has objected to such uses.”
The NBA star is asking a judge to declare that he is the rightful owner of the logo and to rule that Nike “committed fraud on the Copyright Office in registering the Leonard Logo.”
A report in the New York Times last week claimed that the Los Angeles Clippers — who are said to be the frontrunners to sign Kawhi when he becomes a free agent after the season — attempted to purchase a portion of the rights to Leonard’s signature logo that Nike claims it still owns.