Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving is now the biggest sneaker free agent after Nike reportedly dropped him from their roster one month after his shoe deal was suspended.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Ja Morant is set to replace Irving in Nike’s roster of NBA players with signature shoes.
Nike canceled the Kyrie 8 launch, which was initially scheduled last Nov. 8, after Irving shared an antisemitic film on social media and initially refused to denounce antisemitism unequivocally.
After the suspension of Irving’s shoe deal, Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight said in an interview with Squawk Box CNBC already hinted that their relationship was likely over.
“Kyrie stepped over the line. It’s kind of that simple. So he made some statements that we just can’t abide by, and that’s why we ended the relationship. And yeah, I was fine with that.”Nike co-founder Phil Knight via CNBC
The Nets initially suspended Irving for five games. But it lasted eight games while Irving underwent several dialogues with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Nets owner Joe Tsai and Jewish leaders.
Irving is averaging 22.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists since his return, helping the Nets win 6 of 9 games to get over .500 (13-12) after a 2-7 start.
Irving had 18 points in a losing effort Sunday night against the league-leading Boston Celtics in a rematch of last season’s first-round playoffs.
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