Nike unveils Kyrie Irving shoe

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Thursday, December 4, 2014

NEW YORK -- Nike unveiled the Kyrie 1, its first signature shoe for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, on Wednesday night.

"It's great to have the support of Nike and the guys who came before me, like Kobe [Bryant] and LeBron [James]," Irving said. "It makes the juice taste that much sweeter."

Being only 22, Irving said the shoe he wore most often growing up was actually the shoe made for his current teammate James.

"I would always buy the LeBrons," Irving said. "I had to have them, and there were so many color ways and so many different inspirations. Now that I'm his teammate, I see where all of this comes from. He's such a smart guy."

Irving, who is in the last year of a four-year deal and signed a seven-year extension, said James was one of the first people he told when he was informed he was getting a signature shoe.

James showed up and watched in the back as the shoe was unveiled and the details on the pairs were revealed.

"It's great. I'm happy for him," James said. "I was there as a friend, as a teammate, as a brother of his. I know what it's all about. It's a different feeling for him now. It's a lot of pressure, too, for sure, to have your own signature shoe. I'm happy that he's a part of the signature guys and part of the whole Nike family. We do things like no other. We don't follow behind nobody. We lead everything and for him to be a part of it, I think it's great."

The shoe has Irving's new interlocking "KI" logo, his signature on the inside of the tongue and his number on the back of the heel.

His mother's name, Elizabeth, is etched on the sole of the shoe with her birthdate and the day she died, when Irving was 4.

"That was one of the first things I knew I wanted to put on the shoe," Irving said. "She's one of the reasons why I've come so far, why I have the drive that I do."

Underneath Irving's logo on the shoe's bottom are the letters "JBY," which stands for "Just Be You," a reminder to always stay humble.

Irving is the 20th basketball player to get a Nike signature shoe and the first player since Kevin Durant got his own model in 2007.

"It's a huge deal," James said of Irving's shoe. "We haven't had a signature guy since KD, since KD dropped his signature line and it's only a few guys in the last decade that's had a signature shoe at Nike. For him to be up there on the stage last night with Sir Charles and Penny Hardaway, two of our signature guys, it puts it all into perspective for what class he's going into. So, I think he's ready for it."

The shoe goes on sale Dec. 23 and will sell for $110.'s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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