In the postgame of their Sunday overtime showcase against the Atlanta Hawks, Kyrie Irving hinted at a key note regarding his next potential shoe line deal with a new brand.
In connection to Irving’s statement, Bally Sports insider Brandon Robinson noted that Li-Ning, a Chinese sportswear and equipment company, has been eyeing the All-Star for a potential pact.
As such, Robinson went on to clarify that besides inking a deal with a company, Irving has some other options like going independent or developing his shoe brand. Last December, the insider noted that Adidas already made a contact with the star guard, with New Balance and Puma also expressing their interest in a signing.
Irving remains a sneaker free-agent after Nike ended their partnership that has been running since 2014. The collaboration was cutted in wake of his controversy earlier this season, wherein he promoted and posted an Amazon link of Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America, a film that is widely condemned for containing antisemitic tropes. At first, Nike suspended their contract and went on to scrap the creation and release of Kyrie 8.
Irving’s prolonged hesitancy to owe his antisemitic misconduct also cost him to be suspended for eight-straight games with the Brooklyn Nets and absorb public backlash not only in the NBA but also in the Jewish community.
Since the split up, Irving is still wearing his signature shoes in playing, but customized most of the time with the Nike logo being taped. He also donned earlier this month the Ethics, a shoe brand made by ex-NBA cager Langston Galloway.
Should Irving eventually finds his way signing an offer sheet from Li-Ning, he will join fellow NBA stars Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade, Udonis Haslem, RJ Hampton, D’Angelo Russell, and Fred VanVleet partnered with the brand.