Multiple controversies and episodes leave Kyrie Irving’s NBA career and Nike deal in the air.
While Nike Basketball had their surge in popularity with sneakerheads in the early 2010’s, the line has since fallen to the Nike Dunk and other retro silhouettes, rather than their signature athletes. The general population, however, can’t get enough of one basketball player’s signature model, that being Kyrie Iriving and his Nike Kyrie series. Originally signing with The Swoosh in 2014, he has since released 8 models in the line with the latest being the Nike Kyrie Infinity. Various takedown silhouettes have been released as well. With the Nike Kyrie 9 confirmed to release later this year, will it be his last silhouette under the Swoosh? Rumors are suggesting this may be the case.
The Brooklyn Nets star is quite familiar with controversy, coming out and stating he believes in the Flat Earth theory, his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as his beef with Celtics fans to name a few. He has even taken shots directly at Nike before the release of the Kyrie Infinity, tweeting out that they were “trash” and that “Nike plans to release it without my okay.” These situations and more leave his status in the NBA, and his Nike deal, in the air. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, sources have told them that Nike is unlikely to extend his deal past the 2022-2023 NBA season, though there is still one more signature model in the pipeline set to release in the Fall of 2022.
Nike was reached for comment by ESPN, replying "We don't comment on contracts or rumors or speculation. Kyrie remains a Nike athlete." Though their deal may end, continued retros of previous models could still occur well past the expiration of the endorsement. With that said, Irving still has time to hit the negotiating table with both Nike and the Brooklyn Nets to secure a long-term deal. For updates on Kyrie’s status as a Nike Athlete and more, keep it locked to our Twitter and Mobile App to stay up to date.