Nike has ended its partnership with Kyrie Irving, making the Brooklyn Nets star a sneaker free agent. News of the termination was first reported by NBA insider Shams Charania via Twitter on Monday.
When reached for comment by Complex on the matter, a Nike spokesperson confirms that “Kyrie Irving is no longer a Nike athlete.”
The termination of the deal with the Nets star guard comes after the brand announced last month it would be suspending its partnership with Irving and axing the release of his Kyrie 8 signature shoe after he shared a link to an antisemitic film on Instagram and refused to denounce antisemitic beliefs in the immediate press conferences that followed. Irving was also suspended by the Nets for eight games but has since been reinstated after he apologized for sharing a link to the film on social media.
Irving and Nike’s relationship began to sour last year when he publicly called his unreleased Kyrie Infinity sneaker “trash” in an Instagram comment. Shortly after, it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne that Nike would not be renewing Irving’s endorsement deal following the 2022–23 season and that the Kyrie 8 would be his last sneaker release with the brand.
Irving first inked an endorsement deal with the Swoosh back in 2011, which has resulted in the release of seven official signature models as well as several takedown sneakers.