Kyrie Irving has been the topic of conversation for the last few years now, and with his deal with Nike at an end, there are plenty of suitors ready to replace the swoosh as his signature shoe brand.
Since joining the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving has been the center of multiple headlines. Whether it was his controversial teaming with Kevin Durant, his refusal to play last season due to remaining unvaccinated, or his interest in movies considered anti-Semitic, Kyrie Irving’s name is always bought up.
But now because of the drama that ensued following the posting of a link to a movie deemed anti-Semitic, Nike has jumped ship and chosen not to support Irving. He is no longer an ambassador for the athletic apparel company.
Adidas reached out to Kyrie Irving.
Puma has interest.
New Balance has interest.
Irving and team have spoken with Sia, a black owned sneaker brand.
Irving wants creative control, equity, community outrech and any deal with a sneaker company is not solely tied to monetary. https://t.co/rZJSwuw5W7
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) December 13, 2022
While this is most likely because the world reacted rather swiftly in trying to cancel Kyrie, along with the NBA basically handing him a to-do list in order to play again, this happened right around the time Kanye West had similar negative attention surrounding him for making anti-Semitic comments. Nike was trying to separate and distance itself from Kyrie as much as possible.
That situation has blown over now, and no one is really spending too much time discussing Kyrie’s mistake, now that they’re seeing it for what it really is, a mistake. He’s back playing with the Nets, and he’s doing what he has to do to show that he is a caring human being who did not mean to offend anybody.
Nike Fumbled The Bag
Kyrie is a free agent now, and after Nike terminated their partnership, he has the attention of multiple suitors. Shoe brands such as Puma, New Balance, and Adidas have all expressed interest in the point guard, according to Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports.
“Kyrie Irving, last week, did draw the attention of New Balance as well as Puma and others, I can tell you that last week, Irving and his representation did meet with independent sneaker owner SIA, and there’s no imminent decision on whether or not Irving and his team will sign with the company,” Scoop B said on Bally Sports on Dec 13. “But I’m told everybody is paying attention to the Nets point guard. Everybody’s reached out, and that’s including, I’m told, Adidas and others.”
It will be interesting to see where Irving lands with his next major shoe deal, considering that these three giants are all on the rise with their basketball athletes. Adidas has Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young, Puma has the Charlotte Hornets’ Lamelo Ball, and New Balance is led by the Los Angeles Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.
New Shoe. Who This.
Whichever one of these shoe companies can land Irving will definitely be making a major leap in visibility within the NBA and amid other sponsored professional athletes.
These potential new alignments are also huge for Irving and will be a significant moment for him, proving that he could come back from the turmoil that plagued him a few months prior. It will be inspiring, but it will also involve a lot of backlash for the shoe company that takes that risk on him.
But if Kyrie Irving can keep his head down and focus on winning in Brooklyn, his reputation should be rebuilt in no time.