Celtics’ Jaylen Brown Endorses Kyrie Irving’s Latest Jab At Nike

Both Brown and Irving wore customized kicks during the NBA All-Star Game


Feb 20, 2023

Jaylen Brown expressed his support for former Boston Celtics teammate Kyrie Irving, who took a jab at Nike during Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game.

Before severing ties in what amounted to be an ugly departure between both sides, Irving and Nike partnered to create a very successful line of basketball sneakers. This line featured collaborations that paid tribute to Duke University, local sneaker shops and even SpongeBob SquarePants.

But following a controversial social media post during Irving’s time with the Brooklyn Nets, their relationship took a damaging turn, which ended Irving’s line just before the “Kyrie 8” was scheduled to release.

And during the All-Star Game at Vivint Arena, Irving — as he’s done since severing ties with Nike — rocked a pair of his signature Nike kicks but in a uniquely customized fashion. Irving concealed the four Nike swooshes featured on the sneakers with tassels covering the shoes.

This eye-grabbing approach at keeping the Kyrie line on the court, but separated from its Nike affiliation, received approval from Brown, who called them “straight fire” on Monday.

Brown’s support for the Dallas Mavericks guard appeared to have gone far beyond the Twitter keyboard.

During the All-Star Game, Brown himself sported a pair of customized Nike’s on the court. The 26-year-old wore the Nike Kobe 5 Proto Chaos — the signature sneaker of Kobe Bryant — which covered up their initial colorway. The kicks featured the terms “liberation” and “just do better” while the Nike swooshes are crossed by red X’s, which have a burning effect painted on them.

Brown has been seen on several occasions wearing re-releases of Bryant’s old signature sneakers, but these were the first he’d sported which also challenged their own brand.

While Brown has yet to explicitly confirm the message behind the shoes, it’s safe to assume he intended on ripping Nike since it wouldn’t be his first time bashing the company.

Back in November, when Irving’s departure from Nike was still fresh news, Brown blasted both the brand and its co-founder and chairman Phil Knight following comments made against Irving. Knight claimed that Irving “stepped over the line,” which prompted Brown to question Nike’s moral compass.

“Since when did Nike care about ethics?” Brown tweeted on Nov. 10.

Thumbnail photo via Christopher Creveling/USA TODAY Sports Images
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