Kyrie Irving has never really trusted the media. He’s given curt answers in press conferences and sometimes goes completely off-topic, veering into the territory of looking down on the others in the room. Having your defenses up against the media is understandable since people often do take things out of context. Yet without any interference from reporters, Irving has still managed to lose a wild amount of money.
The latest bombshell comes from Nike, who announced it had ended its partnership with the Nets guard. Irving had been with Nike since entering the league in 2011, and his Kyrie 8 shoe was due out this season. Nike suspended its partnership after Irving promoted a movie that contained falsehoods about Jewish people and immediately didn’t condemn anti-Semitic beliefs. As his stance remained vague, Nike decided to part ways.
Irving has apologized for sharing the film and said he opposes all forms of hatred and oppression, but the damage has been done. He was making $11 million per year with Nike. That money is now off the table.
$11 million gone
And $11 million is just a drop in the bucket.
Kyrie previously estimated that not getting vaccinated has cost him about $100 million in forfeited salary to date. He opted not to get vaccinated despite a New York City mandate that unvaccinated people couldn’t attend sporting events — or play in them.
“I gave up four years, $100-something million deciding to be unvaccinated,” Irving said during Brooklyn’s media day. “That was the decision. It was contract [and] get vaccinated or be unvaccinated and there’s a level of uncertainty of your future.“
As a result of not being vaccinated, Irving only played in 29 games last season. The Nets chose to bench Irving for road games through the first half of the season. The Nets played inconsistently and got swept in the first round of the playoffs.
Irving opted into his player option worth $36 million this year and he’s made over $130 million during his career to date, so he’s not entirely hurting for money. But let’s assume he kept playing well for another seven seasons. That’s around $77 million he could have made from Nike, and maybe more. Even after he retired, he’d likely still earn solid money from shoe sales.
It’s not a stretch to estimate Irving has lost more than $200 million from his recent words and actions. No matter how much you’ve made, giving up that amount of money has got to hurt.