Dallas Mavericks goaltender Kyrie Irving has a new shoe deal.
After his deal with Nike was terminated amid controversy in Brooklyn last year, Irving reached a five-year endorsement deal with Chinese sportswear brand ANTA on Tuesday, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The deal also makes Irving the company’s chief creative officer.
The details of this agreement are not yet known.
Irving agreed to return to the Mavericks on a three-year, $126 million deal last month in what was by far his best, and perhaps only, option in free agency. Irving was first traded to Dallas in February in a deal that sent Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith to the Brooklyn Nets after Irving’s last trade request.
He averaged 27 points, six assists and five rebounds in 20 games with the Mavericks while struggling with a foot injury. The Mavericks finished the season 9–18 after Irving’s arrival and moved from sixth place in the Western Conference to 11th and out of the playoffs.
Irving’s time in Brooklyn was overshadowed by the games he missed. He missed seven games in 2020-21 for an undisclosed reason, then missed 53 games in the 2021-22 season as he protested the COVID-19 vaccine. He was then suspended for eight games last fall after repeatedly refusing to apologize for promoting an anti-Semitic film on social media.
Nike also severed ties with Irving over its anti-Semitism controversy and canceled the launch of Irving’s next signature shoe, the Kyrie 8. Irving’s shoes were one of the most popular sneaker lines. popular from Nike. Irving reportedly earned at least $11 million a year from this deal.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn all forms of anti-Semitism,” Nike said in a statement last year. “To that end, we have made the decision to suspend our relationship with Kyrie Irving with immediate effect and to no longer launch the Kyrie 8. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”
Irving’s deal with Nike was already set to end after last season, and the company was unlikely to renew it even before Irving’s latest controversy.
Now, however, Irving has a new contract in place. It’s unclear when he will release his first signature shoe with ANTA, but it will definitely happen soon.