The former Duke Blue Devil turned NBA Champion Cavalier has fought through plenty of adversity to get to where he is today. Throughout the League and other gyms across the world as well as the streets you’ll see either of his two Nike signatures on the feet of many. After the dagger to seal the Championship, he’s won over the hearts of everyone too.
It’s very rare that a guy of this caliber reflects in public about his impact on this community and the game of Basketball. Slam Online recently sat down with Irving to discuss his Nike line, donating sneakers to kids in need, and more:
SLAM: Recently, you donated 190 pairs of Kyrie 2s to the Boys & Girls Club in Cleveland. Do you feel athletes with signature shoes should be doing this more often?
KI: I think they should be doing what they think is best for their community and whatever they want to do to give back. The way I was raised, my mom, as she looks down on me, she would be knowing if I was doing what I needed to be doing with the platform that I’m on to be able to influence them and connect with kids. It’s a unique opportunity you have to take full advantage of for the next generation that’s coming up because they’re going to be leading us eventually. So, I’m going to be the older man one day looking at these kids that have grown up and I want to be able to say that I got the chance to connect with them if not in person, but through the storylines of my shoes and also helping them along the way to achieve their goals.
SLAM: Both the Kyrie 1 and 2 have gotten great responses from a performance standpoint and are fan favorites worldwide. Is it still surreal to you that you have your own signature line of kicks?
KI: Absolutely. [Laughs] There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for putting me in this position, and blessing me with a lot of the opportunities that I’ve had—to be able to be a creator behind my signature shoe. I used to be in 3rd grade wondering what I would call my first shoe or what it would look like or what the shoe box would look like or would my first shoe go well with the kids as well as the sneakerheads—and you try to find a balance in all of that. When you’re growing up, you’re seeing everyone and you’re seeing all the shoes coming out; you start to idolize it and all these guys that are great, great, great athletes and now they put out shoes and you’re able to put out shoes and you’re able to feel like you’re one of them. I’m glad that I have that opportunity and I’m just so thankful I have that support with not only the fans across the world, but the Nike brand in believing in me, my mind and what I want to put out to the whole the entire world.
SLAM: Can you give us any hints at what to expect from the Kyrie 3?
KI: I wish, man. I wish. [Laughs] It’ll be kind of under wraps until…I would say November or December.
ICYMI, Kyrie Irving donated 190 pairs of Nike Kyrie 2’s to his local Boys&Girls Club in Independence, OH. That’s very honorable. Can’t wait to see what the Kyrie 3 will look like!