Kyrie Irving Makes Brooklyn Return More Special With Glimpses of 1st ANTA Signature Shoe

Published 02/06/2024, 8:52 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Kyrie Irving made his highly-anticipated return to Brooklyn tonight. The Mavs superstar played his first game at the Barclays Center since leaving the Nets last year. And Kyrie’s return to face his former team created a buzz for more reasons than one. Not only did Kyrie Irving go off against the Nets upon his Brooklyn return, but he also did it while debuting his first signature shoes with Chinese brand ANTA.

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Uncle Drew took the sneaker world by storm after wearing the “Artist on Court” colorway of his latest ANTA Kai 1 signature shoes during the Nets clash. These are Kyrie’s first signature shoes since ending his 11-year-long relationship with Nike in December 2022. Kyrie made a huge impact in his new signature shoes and went off for 21 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in the first half.

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The 10-time All-Star signed a new 5-year sneaker and apparel deal with ANTA last summer. The Chinese brand also made Kyrie the Chief Creative Officer of ANTA Basketball, giving him complete creative freedom to design his signature shoes. Uncle Drew toured China during the off-season to promote his brand and have some creative meet-ups at the ANTA headquarters. Kyrie decided to sign with ANTA after Nike canceled his signature sneaker line in 2022 following his controversial remarks that were deemed antisemitic. Nike decided to cut all ties with the former Champion, and he had to play for the remainder of the season with the Nike branding concealed.

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“Just Another Basketball Game”: Kyrie Irving Shuns Emotions for Brooklyn Return Despite Sharing “Excitement”

The resurgence of Kyrie Irving

The 2022-23 season was a tough year for Kyrie Irving. He found himself in deep waters following his controversial remarks and got suspended by his then-team, the Brooklyn Nets. Several brands also pulled out from partnerships with Kyrie, including Nike. Despite having one of the most successful and popular basketball sneaker lines for over a decade, Nike did not want their name to be associated with Kyrie following the incident. Fortunately, Kyrie has been able to turn things around for him in less than two years.

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The NBA World has witnessed the resurgence of Kyrie Irving this season. He has played great all season with the Dallas Mavericks and formed a lethal duo with Luka Doncic. Kyrie is averaging 25.1 points, 5.4 assists, and 5.1 rebounds. Apart from his on-court dominance, Kyrie is back in the sneaker game with an amazing new signature shoe. The value of his new ANTA Kai 1s will only increase after his dominant performance against the Nets for his sneaker debut. It is great to see Kyrie leaving his past behind to make way for better things in life.

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Written by:

Rohan Bhaunt

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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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