Kyrie Irving’s Nike deal in question after turbulent season

Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is reportedly close to taking a capital “L” off the field after Brooklyn’s first-round playoff exit in April.

According to ESPN, Nike is unlikely to extend Irving’s signature footwear deal beyond the 2022-23 season due to “uncertainties surrounding his NBA future.”

Irving has had a lucrative shoe lineup with Nike since 2014, which has grown into one of the sneaker giant’s most popular and profitable signature basketball shoes.

The NBA champion has a reboot of his shoe set that will debut in the fall, but ESPN reports that the launch is expected to be the final year of his signature line.

“We do not comment on contracts, rumors or speculation. Kyrie remains a Nike athlete,” a Nike spokesman told ESPN on Thursday, with the outlet noting that the brand did not dispute that Irving’s deal is ending.

Nike is expected to continue carrying some products associated with Irving due to its popularity, sources told ESPN. These items may contain retro shoes from previous collections.

Irving and Nike have reportedly recently begun talks about his future as an endorser, and it has emerged, according to ESPN, that “his relationship with the company is about to change — perhaps dramatically.”

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving #11 biting his jersey in the 4th quarter.
Nike declined to comment on the future of Kyrie Irving’s signature sneaker line.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The report came two days after Nets general manager Sean Marks felt no obligation to negotiate a long-term deal with Irving.

Irving has a $36.5 million player option for the upcoming season. He could choose to become a free agent or seek a four-year extension worth $185 million.

Irving missed 29 games last season and made headlines for his refusal to comply with local vaccination regulations. The seven-time All-Star faced backlash after refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine that prevented him from playing games in New York and Canada. His absence further complicated the Nets’ injury woes, forcing the team to trade James Harden to Philadelphia for Ben Simmons – who was unsuited for the team this season.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving #11 in the 4th quarter.
Irving’s signature sneaker line is popular with NBA players and fans.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

In July, Irving took to Instagram to criticize Nike for the design of his shoe’s Kyrie 8 edition, calling it “garbage”. At the time, Irving said, “I have nothing to do with design or marketing” and “Nike plans to release it without my okay.”

A day later, Irving fired Roc Nation as his agency. Kyrie Irving’s Nike deal in question after turbulent season


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