Kyrie Irving could end up being a free agent in more ways than one at the conclusion of the 2022-23 NBA season. Should Irving opt into the final year of his current contract, the Brooklyn Nets guard would hit the open market and have the flexibility to choose where he’d want to play his basketball.
According to a new report by Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Irving’s future in the sneaker game is equally unclear. Irving is a Nike athlete, and is among the NBA players who have their own line of signature sneakers. But after his latest sneaker drops later this year, Nike appears to be ready to move on.
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has long had one of Nike’s most popular and profitable signature basketball shoes, but uncertainties surrounding his NBA future have left the company unlikely to extend him to a similar signature deal beyond the 2022-23 season, sources told ESPN.
The report did indicate that the popularity of Irving’s line means that “it is expected Nike will still offer some product associated with him in the future, like retro shoes from previous collections.” Irving’s most recent release from Nike, the Kyrie 8s, made headlines when their namesake hopped onto Instagram and called them “trash” before explaining that he just wanted “to make sure we get [the sneaker] right.”