Kyrie Irving seems to have found a new shoe partnership in the hardwood.
Irving isn’t just an NBA free agent this summer, but after his breakup with Nike this past season, he was also looking for a new partner in the shoe game.
He seems to have found it in Anta Sports, a Chinese equipment company that has NBA sponsors with a few players including Klay Thompson and Gordon Hayward.
During his annual basketball camp, Irving was seen wearing the Anta Shock Wave Pro 5, and it came after the All-Star point guard recently posted that he was going to be announcing a new shoe partner soon on his Instagram Live.
“I will be signing my new shoe deal very, very soon. I won’t even call it a shoe deal. I’m about to blow this out the water. I’m so excited about it,” he said.
Nike ended its long-term partnership with Irving following his decision to post an Amazon link to a film that had antisemitic messages in it on his social media platforms.
Irving’s initial chance to apologize didn’t go according to the plans of his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, as he didn’t seem genuine when he was approached by reporters. That led to an eight-game suspension for Irving until the Nets deemed him ready to return.
In turn, Nike also ended its partnership with Irving for his comments, cutting ties with him in December 2022. Nike canceled the launch of his ninth signature shoe, the Nike Kyrie 8, one month earlier.
He was eventually traded to the Dallas Mavericks at the NBA trade deadline, and his counterpart, Kevin Durant, was also moved to the Phoenix Suns.
Irving’s deal with Anta has not been made official, nor has free agency kicked off to see where the polarizing point guard will play next.
Irving averaged 27.1 points last season with 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists between the Nets and Mavericks in his eighth year as an All-Star in the NBA. The 2016 champion will be 31 years old at the start of next season.
NBA free agency officially begins July 6.