Kyrie Irving took viewers by surprise last week when he went out of his way to call his own sneakers “trash”. The Mercurial basketball star preemptively stepped away from the Nike Kyrie 8, which back then (and even now) had only been seen by the public in leaked footage.
Now, almost a week later, Irving seems to have come to his senses and has realized he shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds him. “When you’re building something big, sometimes there comes a point where you need to recalibrate and refocus to make sure everyone involved is aligned,” Irving said. in a report obtained by athleticismis Sham Charania. “This is where the KAI11 and Nike brand are located. It was unfair to lay the blame on Nike or on one person. That being said, we are working diligently, restructuring and reimagining things together to make sure we get it right. ”
Criticizing Nike, which is said to pay Irving $ 11 million a year, would have been an odd move at any time – but his comments seemed particularly out of place for a sneaker that apparently hadn’t even been finalized yet. Why call something that’s not even finished, especially when you risk putting your own money at risk?
You can thank a fan account – The minor controversy was sparked by a fan account on Instagram called @ K11Kicks which is dedicated solely to covering Irving’s sneakers. Chances are, when the user behind the account reposted leaked footage of the upcoming sneaker and tagged Irving, he had no idea the man himself would come with a precision nuclear bomb targeting both the shoes and its own reputation.
“I have nothing to do with the design or marketing of the next # Kyrie8Irving said in the comment. “IMO, these are rubbish! I have absolutely nothing to do with them! Nike is planning to release it without my consent no matter what I say, so I apologize for the advance with all my sneakers heads and real supporters of the # KAI11 Brand.”
Whatever the future of the Kyrie 8, Irving’s comments will ensure a more in-depth public scrutiny of the shoe than with any previous sneaker in his Nike line. And even if he ends up thinking the end product sucks, he’s likely going to be smart enough to keep it to himself from now on.