After being cut loose from Nike, Kyrie Irving signs shoe deal with China’s ANTA

Abu Mubarik July 14, 2023
Kyrie Irving -- Photo via @brooklynnets on Instagram

Last year, Nike cut ties with Kyrie Irving after he shared an antisemitic film on Twitter. He tweeted (the tweet has since been deleted) a link to the 2018 film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America” that claims Blacks are true descendants of the biblical Israelites. His tweet further suggested that there was an international Jewish conspiracy to oppress black people. 

He was subsequently suspended by his team at the time, the Brooklyn Nets. Following his fallout with Nike, he became a free agent in the shoe market. For most games last season, he wore Nikes with the swoosh covered up.

The NBA star is now back in the shoe market with a mouthwatering deal with Chinese sportswear giant, ANTA. “I’m incredibly excited about this collaboration,” Irving said in a statement, according to CBS. “The first step in becoming partners is to share the same dreams, goals, and missions. ANTA’s rapid development over the years, openness to creativity, willingness to embrace family and teamwork, expertise in areas like product innovation and manufacturing processes have left a remarkable impression on not just me, but also my A11Even team who will work side by side with me in creating something truly generationally special.”

Irving will also serve as the brand’s chief creative officer of basketball. He will assist the brand to recruit players, independent brands, and other figures across pop culture, music, and artists to create products under his signature brand.

“Being appointed as ANTA Basketball’s Chief Creative Officer is more than just a realization of my dreams; in fact, it may be the perfect opportunity for me,” Irving said. “An individual who always dreams big and values independent thinking, to leverage my artistic talents to build, create, and unify the culture both on and off court.”

Irving, who has been in the league since 2011, has a three-year contract extension with the Dallas Mavericks valued at $126 million. Aside from winning the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he is also a three-time all-star.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 14, 2023


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