Cramer: LeBron could lead Nike to a comeback, too

Cramer's Mad Dash: Nike under pressure
Cramer's Mad Dash: Nike under pressure

On the heels of a riveting NBA Finals game, CNBC's Jim Cramer thinks it may be time for Nike to score.

The athletic apparel company rose nearly 2 percent midday Monday after an analyst at Piper Jaffray said it expected Nike to beat earnings estimates when it reports on June 28. And under the shine of champion LeBron James and with the Olympics on the horizon, Nike shares are looking a lot better, Cramer told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday.

"This stock has been really beaten down," Cramer said. "Basketball sneakers have been in the doldrums — maybe this one wakes up. It's still expensive, no doubt about it. But I just think it's kind of spent its time in purgatory. Under Armour has too."

The stock has fallen nearly 15 percent over the past 6 months amid pressure in the sportswear space, as retailer Sports Authority shuttered and investors perceived a slowdown in North America, according to Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy. But by Murphy's estimates, Nike's pricing in China could go higher, and the brand remains strong among teens.

"We believe signature basketball's reset should commence in early July ... and would anticipate new innovations to follow the Olympics," Murphy wrote in a Monday research note.

It comes after LeBron James, who has a hefty deal with Nike, cinched the Finals MVP title after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory in game seven of the NBA Finals.

"We view [the Sports Authority] bankruptcy as more noise," Murphy wrote.

Indeed, it may be time to get beyond the gloom of Sports Authority, Cramer said. "A lot of it is just this sentiment that is too negative, I think," Cramer said.