Kyrie Irving Hires Shetellia Riley Irving; Believed to Be Only Black Female NBA Agent

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMarch 3, 2022

Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has hired new representation by bringing aboard Shetellia Riley Irving, who is believed to be the only black woman representing an active NBA player.

Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported the news on Thursday.

Riley Irving currently works as BET's VP of Ad Sales. She is also Irving's stepmother.

The agent move comes at a pivotal time for Irving, who has a $36,647,050 player option for the 2022-23 season. If he chooses to waive that option, then he'll become a free agent this offseason.

Irving, who was previously represented by Roc Nation and Jeff Wechsler, is averaging 25.1 points, 5.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game this year. He has only suited up for 15 of the Nets' 63 games after the organization sat Irving for the first few months of the season.

Irving has not adhered to New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which prohibits him from playing home games.

The Nets decided to sit him completely until he was eligible to play, but those plans changed when they lost numerous players to injuries and the NBA's health-and-safety protocols. Irving made his season debut on Jan. 5.

The Nets haven't fared well with or without Irving in 2022, going just 9-21 during the calendar year. They've gone 5-10 with Irving on the court.

In fairness to Irving, though, he's playing without the rest of the Nets' planned big three in Kevin Durant (sprained MCL, out since Jan. 17) and Ben Simmons (back injury). If those three ever get together on the court at the same time, then the Nets could find themselves in position for a deep playoff run. At the least, KD is set to return Thursday at home against the Miami Heat.

As it is, Irving has been doing all he can to at least keep Brooklyn over .500. He starred in his last game on the court, a 126-123 road win over the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks. Irving dropped 38 points alongside five assists and five boards against Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co.

He'll take the court next at the Boston Celtics on Sunday.