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#pounditMonday, March 20, 2023

Kyrie Irving could land another major shoe endorsement after Nike split?

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving might not be a sneaker free agent for very long.

Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports is reporting this week that New Balance could potentially be in the mix to sign the Brooklyn Nets star Irving to an endorsement deal. Irving was recently dropped by longtime sponsor Nike over his antisemitic behavior.

The seven-time All-Star Irving had been signed to Nike since 2014. But the recent scandal in which Irving tweeted out a link to an antisemitic film (and subsequently refused to apologize for doing so) led to both Nike halting their relationship with him as well as the Nets suspending him without pay.

Irving has since made amends for his behavior, completing all the remedial measures that the Nets had laid out for him to return to the court. He was reinstated by the team on Nov. 20 and has since played in their last ten games, averaging 23.3 points per game (as Brooklyn has gone 7-3).

But Irving was not able to get his Nike endorsement back with the company announcing earlier this week that their relationship with Irving had gone from a suspension to an outright termination. Irving went on to take the court with the Nike logos on his shoes covered up and the messages “I AM FREE. Thank you God … I AM” and “Logo here” written over them instead.

While not quite Nike or Adidas, New Balance still has some massive NBA names on their roster. It appears that the very available Irving is next in their sights.

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