Naomi Osaka Says There's 'Always Room' for Kyrie Irving at New 'EVOLVE' Sports Agency

Adam WellsMay 12, 2022

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 01: Naomi Osaka of Japan talks to the media after losing to Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in her second round match on Day 4 of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 01, 2022 in Madrid, Spain (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
Robert Prange/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving had a unique way of congratulating Naomi Osaka for starting her own agency. 

After the Brooklyn Nets star asked Osaka on Twitter if there was room at EVOLVE "for hoopers," she responded there is "always room." They ended their respective tweets with an emoji of champagne glasses toasting.

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

always room 🏀🥂 <a href="https://t.co/Yiu0Mdx4I2">https://t.co/Yiu0Mdx4I2</a>

Despite Irving's inquiry, it seems unlikely he's seeking representation right now. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported in March that Irving hired his stepmom, Shetellia Riley Irving, as his agent. 

Charania noted Riley Irving is believed to be the only Black woman currently representing an NBA player. 

Osaka told Sportico's Kurt Badenhausen in an email on Wednesday that she left IMG to form a new agency, alongside agent Stuart Duguid. 

"I've spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn't what was expected or traditional," Osaka said. "Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way."

In an email to Amy Tennery of Reuters, Duguid said the firm will operate as a "small boutique and bespoke agency" that is only looking to hire athletes "who transcend their sports; or those with the potential to do so."

Duguid didn't offer specific details about any potential clients EVOLVE will be pursuing.