It's funny how things work out. For months, rumors have been swirling that Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was next in line to receive his own signature shoe from Nike. When the Cavaliers' schedule came out over the summer, one game against the New York Knicks—the Cavs' home opener and the debut of Irving, LeBron James and Kevin Love playing together for the first time—naturally stood out. But it was the second game against the Knicks we should have been paying attention to.
With the Cavs in NYC tonight to take on the Knicks for the second time this season, Nike took advantage of the team's off day in the city yesterday to officially introduce Irving as the brand's next signature athlete, the first since Kevin Durant in 2008. During an event hosted by TNT's Kenny Smith, Irving joined former Nike athletes Penny Hardaway and Charles Barkley on stage wearing the initial colorway of the Nike Kyrie 1. "When it finally happened, and they were like 'You're getting your own signature shoe,' I asked everybody in the room, are you sure?" Irving said. "Are you sure you want to give me my own shoe? It was a surreal moment, and now that it's finally here, all my dreams and hard work are coming to fruition."
Designed by Leo Chang, the same guy whose hands have been all over the Kevin Durant sneaker line, the Kyrie 1 provides superior traction to support Irving's quick movements and rapid changes of direction on the court. So 360-degree dynamic traction not only wraps the sole, but also creeps up onto the sidewalls. The shoe features a Nike Zoom unit in the forefoot for cushioning and a Hyperfuse upper to keep things light and breathable. As for design elements, Irving's logo, the letter "K" intertwined with the letter "I" split in two, graces the outside of the tongue, and his uniform number, 2, is engraved into the heel. Irving's signature appears on the inside of the tongue. A spike pattern on the heel and near the toe is inspired by the Sydney Opera House in Australia, the country where Irving was born. Finally, the letters "JBY" appear on the outsole, standing for "Just Be Yourself," a mantra in the Irving family.
The Nike Kyrie 1 will retail for $110 and will launch in two colorways, a black, red and volt "Dream" dropping on Dec. 23, and an infrared "Deceptive Red" coming on Jan. 10. Irving will debut the Deceptive Red shoe on Christmas Day when the Cavaliers take on the Miami Heat. If you don't want to wait that long, you can head over to Nike ID right now and create their own personal pair.
Visit Nike to check out more images and get more info on the shoe. Watch the video in the player above to see how fans reacted to the rumored debut of Kyrie Irving's signature shoe before it was released.
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