Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving walked back comments he made about his upcoming Kyrie 8 signature sneaker and indicated the shoe is back in the design phase.
"When you're building something great, there sometimes comes a point when you need to recalibrate and refocus to ensure everyone involved is aligned," the seven-time All-Star said Tuesday. "This is where the KAI11 brand and Nike are. It was unfair to put the blame on Nike or any one person."
Responding to an Instagram post by user @k11kicks that purportedly showed photos of the Kyrie 8s, Irving didn't hold back, saying he had "nothing to do with the design or marketing" and that the sneakers were "trash."
The 29-year-old has been with Nike since July 2011, with his first signature sneaker rolling out in 2014. According to Sportico's Kurt Badenhausen, he earns $11 million annually from the endorsement deal.
Beyond him just calling out Nike publicly, Irving's comments were surprisingly because he appeared to have had a big hand in designing one of his signature shoes in the recent past.
The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson interviewed Irving and designer Ben Nethongkome about the Kyrie 6 in November 2019. He wrote how the new line "represents an authentic transition from athlete to artist" for Irving and that the star point guard "became more hands-on than he’d ever been with any of his previous five models."
One would've expected Irving to have similar input on the Kyrie 8s, which seemingly wasn't the case.
Regardless, the matter is now resolved, and the saga may have gotten fans even more interested in seeing what Nike will deliver.