Nets Non Commitment to Kyrie Irving Could Cost Ex-Celtics Star Millions: Report

kyrie irving

Getty Kyrie Irving has a decision to make.

In most cases, when teams like the Boston Celtics lose star players like Kyrie Irving, it’s usually a tough blow to recover from because of how rare of a talent someone like Irving is. While Boston hasn’t won any titles since Irving’s departure, they’ve done just fine without him. They’ve made the playoffs every year since he left, and they even came within two wins of making the NBA finals at one point. Kyrie by contrast hasn’t had much success since leaving the Celtics for the Brooklyn Nets, and it might get worse from here for him.

For refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and by extension, not abiding by New York’s vaccine mandate, Irving caused quite the stir for both the Nets and the league over the course of the 2021-22 season. So much so that in a recent report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets are hesitant in committing to Irving long-term.

The turbulence surrounding Irving — which includes the Nets’ noncommittal stance on negotiating a long-term contract — has included several episodes in the past two years.

Irving has a $37 million player option this summer. If he wants to restore the Nets’ faith in him long-term, it might be in his best interest to opt in to prove to them that he’s worth keeping around. Judging off what reports like these have said, it doesn’t sound like Irving will do much better on the open market.

Kyrie Could Potentially Lose Shoe Deal With Nike

Throughout his time in the NBA, Kyrie Irving has had some of the most popular shoes among individual NBA players, which has also served as one of Nike’s most profitable signature basketball shoes. However, it appears he may lose his shoe deal with Nike because of the drama and uncertainty that’s currently surrounding him.

In Wojnarowski’s report about the Nets’ hesitance in extending Kyrie, he also reported that Nike is unlikely to extend his deal past the 2022-23 season.

Irving has a new edition of his shoe set to debut in the fall, but that is expected to be the final year of a lucrative signature series that he has had with Nike since 2014, sources said.

ESPN reached out to Nike about this new development, to which, as Wojnarowski would go on to point out, the company did not confirm or deny.

We don’t comment on contracts or rumors or speculation. Kyrie remains a Nike athlete.

In that same report, Wojnarowski also referenced an incident last July in which Irving called out Nike for the design of their latest installment of his shoes that ultimately muddied the waters between the two sides. Although Irving tried to mend the fence not too long afterward, it didn’t do him much good.

Nets General Manager Comments on Kyrie’s Future in Brooklyn

At his end of the year press conference, Nets’ General Manager Sean Marks had this to say about Kyrie’s future with the team when asked about it.

That didn’t sound like a yes. That answer sounded more like, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” which isn’t too reassuring. Especially when Marks brought up availability, which was Irving’s biggest issue last season. In spite of being one of the most talented scorers currently in the NBA and of his generation, it’s clear that Kyrie’s baggage is starting to outweigh what he brings on the court.

Seeing all of this unfold between Kyrie and the Nets, the Celtics should look at this situation and think, “Thank goodness that’s not our problem anymore.”

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