The down side of Kyrie Irving being on a December release cycle with Nike Basketball is that both the Cavaliers point guard and fans of his signature line have to wait until the calendar turns before getting their hands on the newest release. According to Irving, Nike Basketball’s Kyrie 3 will not be available to the public until January 21, but the Game 7 hero will have a pair of his newest shoes for Cleveland’s Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors.
“I think we release on January 21st but I definitely will be wearing a pair of 3s for Christmas and going forward for any other holidays,” Irving said following Thursday’s shootaround. “January 21 is what we’re looking to aim at. I’m excited. I’m excited to put the product out to you guys and the stories behind the shoes and the creative behind it. I get really juiced up about it. I get to put my artistic mind to the test.”
From the day the Kyrie 1 was merely an idea, Irving has had a big part in the ideas that go into the detail, working with Nike designer Leo Chang on the construction of what has become one of Nike’s best selling basketball shoes. Both the first and second incarnation of Irving’s shoe have included an homage to his late mother, Elizabeth, as well as various other aspects of Irving’s upbringing, including, but not limited to Australia, jazz music and his time spent at Duke University. He was also the primary determinant of the three-quarter rise on the sneaker that places it between the low- and high-top options that previously existed.
“I just wanted to do it my way,” Irving said during the release of his first shoe. “In every meeting [with Nike] we had, I just wanted to give them as much input as far as what I wanted,” Kyrie said. “It has to be what I wanted to wear, but I also gave input on what I think the younger generation and the other generation ahead of me would respond to.”
The first design included the first 360-degree outsole with the traction wrapping around the toe and forefoot. The Kyrie 2 took this concept and added curvature to allow for improved cutting—like when you’re trying to shake the unanimous MVP in the final seconds of a season-deciding game. Irving remains the most recent addition to the signature stable for Nike basketball, a claim only 18 other NBA players can make.
While he’s not a giant sneakerhead like a few of his teammates, when asked how many individual sneakers Irving wishes to amass, it would appear the magic number is 12 so that the point guard can have a clock comprised of his own signature lines.
“I have an aspiration and Bron has it in his house: I just want to get to 12 and have a clock running,” Irving said. “He has a clock running of his shoes. That right there was like a goal of mine to just make it to 12 and then I could choose my best ones. So, yeah, I want to have a clock of my shoes like LeBron.”
Though he did not receive a Christmas Day shoe during his initial release, Irving joined teammate LeBron James in donning a pair of holiday-specific shoes last season. He will continue to wear his Kyrie 2 until the global unveiling of the third iteration, likely set for late November or early December. The January 21 date has some relevance as the Cavaliers will play host to the San Antonio Spurs as a part of ABC’s Saturday Primetime national slate.
Nike has yet to unveil a 14th signature shoe for James who, up until this point, had had launches in late September with releases targeted for the last week of October. He continues to wear the incredibly popular Soldier 10 line in practice and during preseason games.