Sources: Nike would not extend its shoe deal with Kyrie

The star of the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irvinghas long owned one of Nike’s most popular and profitable signature basketball shoes, but uncertainties surrounding its future in the NBA have made it unlikely the company will extend it to a similar exclusive deal beyond the 2022-23 season, sources told ESPN.

Irving has a new edition of his shoe set to debut in the fall, but that’s expected to be the last year of a lucrative exclusive series he’s had with Nike since 2014, sources said.

Nike did not deny the imminent end of the Irving shoe series.

“We don’t comment on contracts, rumors or speculation. Kyrie remains a Nike athlete,” a spokesperson told ESPN.

Due to Irving’s popularity, Nike is expected to continue to offer some merchandise associated with him in the future, such as retro shoes from past collections, the sources said. But since discussions between Nike and Irving about his future sponsorship began recently, it has become clear that his relationship with the company will change, perhaps dramatically.

The controversy surrounding Irving, including the Nets’ noncommittal stance on negotiating a long-term contract, has included several episodes in the past two years. For much of the NBA season, Irving remained unvaccinated against the coronavirus and inactive due to New York City mandates. Eventually, the Nets changed their minds and allowed him to become a part-time player for road games, and a change in city policy allowed him to play home games through the regular season and playoff stretches. .

Irving averaged 27.4 points in 29 games for the Nets before being swept in four games by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Irving, 30, has a $37 million player option with the Nets for the 2022-23 season.

In July, Irving lashed out on social media about the design of the Nike Kyrie 8 edition of his shoes, calling them “garbage” and insisting that “I have nothing to do with design or marketing” and that “Nike plans to release it without my authorization”.

Days later, Irving released a statement toning down those words, but that episode certainly did little to lay the groundwork for another deal centered around his shoe series. Signature.

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Sources: Nike would not extend its shoe deal with Kyrie