Kyrie Irving Recalls Nike Pays Him $11M Annually, Walks Back Calling His Kyrie 8 Shoes “Trash”

Irving publicly ripped into an Instagram post showing the design of the upcoming Nike Kyrie 8

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets. Irving got in trouble recently for criticizing Nike's new shoes, a collaboration with the basketball star
Kyrie Irving was not initially a fan of his new Nike shoe line.
Steven Ryan/Getty

Supposedly a man of great principles and deep thoughts, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving took back the criticism he levied at Nike last week over the newest edition of his signature shoe, likely after remembering how much the apparel giant dumps into his bank account each year.

Irving, whose sneakers have been one of the NBA’s best-sellers since they were introduced last decade, makes $11 million annually from Nike, according to Forbes. He may have forgotten that last week while responding to an Instagram post appearing to show the design of the upcoming Nike Kyrie 8.

In the comments section of the post, Irving simply wrote “Trash.” Then, he elaborated. “I have nothing to do with the design or marketing of the upcoming Kyrie 8, IMO these are trash!” Irving wrote. “I have absolutely nothing to do with them! Nike plans to release it without my okay regardless of what I say, so I apologize in advance to all of my sneakerheads and true supporters of the KAI11 brand.”

In a statement issued through star NBA reporter Shams Charania, Irving clarified his remarks.

“When you’re building something great, there sometimes comes a point when you need to recalibrate and refocus to ensure everyone involved is aligned,” he said. “This is where the KAI11 brand and Nike are. It was unfair to put the blame on Nike or any one person. With that being said, we are diligently working, restructuring, and reimagining things together to make sure we get it right.”

Usually in the news for doing or saying something that, while possibly good-intentioned or meant to provoke a deeper conversation, comes off as annoying, the 29-year-old does deserve praise for providing water and electricity to more than 1,000 Pakistani villagers by putting a solar-powered water plant in the village of Rohal via his K.A.I. Family Foundation through a partnership with Michigan-based Paani Project, according to The New York Post.

“Very few people ever even want to help out people in Pakistan and if you’re part of the Pakistani diaspora you know this,” Paani founder Sikander ‘Sonny’ Khan told The Post. “That’s why to have somebody like Kyrie Irving with his platform and responsibilities taking the time to learn about an issue that impacts so many people in the midst of his season. How he still took the time to hear and support — something that very few people do — it’s just heartwarming.”

As was Irving’s decision to change his tune about Nike.

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