A month after Nike placed their relationship with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on suspension, NBA Insider Shams Charania confirmed today that the Beaverton-based brand and Irving have agreed to end the union for good.
Irving’s relationship with The Swoosh, however, had already been up in the air as the two had not yet agreed upon a new contract extension after his original deal was set to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season. Following Irving’s post of a link to a film with anti-semitic views in early November, the aforementioned decision was fast tracked with the brand announcing – alongside its suspension of their relationship – that the Kyrie 8 shoe would be pulled from store shelves and online product pages as well as and nixing all upcoming marketing efforts surrounding the pair. However, the Nike Kyrie Low 5 was still available for purchase.
Under contract with the brand since 2011, Irving’s roster of silhouettes has proffered one of the most lucrative and successful signature collections for The Swoosh in recent memory. But questions still loom regarding what will be made of the Kyrie 8 with speculation reaching from renaming the silhouette to completely scrapping the pair all together.
So, what does this mean for the seven-time All-Star’s future footwear and the sports behemoth? It doesn’t appear that major sportswear brands are lining up to partner with Kyrie, which opens the possibility of Kyrie starting his own KAI brand.
Much like all current players in the League, Irving’s closet is stocked full with past and current iterations of his line that he could continue to play in until the opportunity for a new deal with a competing brand is reached. Or, he could immediately begin shopping around his options as a sneaker free agent for the first time in his career.
Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete, Nike spokesperson says. The sides have parted ways one month after Nike suspended its relationship with the Nets star. Irving has one of most popular signatures shoes in the NBA and is now a sneaker free agent.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 5, 2022