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Kyrie Irving’s Anta Kai 1 ‘Playoff Energy’ Sneaker Will Release Just in Time for the NBA Finals


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Kyrie Irving will get a new edition of his Anta Kai 1 sneaker just in time for the beginning of the NBA Finals.

The Anta Kai 1 “Playoff Energy” will release just a day before Game 1 of the Dallas Mavericks matchup against the Boston Celtics Thursday, June 6. For the seventh colorway of Irving’s first signature sneaker with Anta, the Kai 1 is given a predominantly gold colorway to invoke the Larry O’Brien trophy. Neon green and blue accents decorate the shoe, including a gradient forming the Anta logo on the midsole. The midsole’s heel is then rendered in white, while the outsole arrives in a translucent yellow-ish gum.

Anta launched the Kai 1 in March, just eight months after the Chinese footwear brand announced it had signed Irving. The sneaker has sold out in all six of the colorways it’s released in so far, and Irving has already taken to the court in an Anta prototype that could be his second signature model. A lifestyle sneaker bearing Irving’s name will also release in the fall.

Irving is returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers, who he won his lone championship in 2016. He’s played for the Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets in the intervening years, and not without controversy. The star point guard has drawn criticism for reversing course on his promise to resign with the Celtics, his refusal to be vaccinated during the pandemic and his posting of a documentary featuring anti-semitic views to Twitter/X.

Nike dropped Irving following the latter development, which took some time to draw an apology from the player, leading to a brief period of sneaker free agency culminating in the Anta deal.

The Anta Kai 1 “Playoff Energy” will release Wednesday, June 5, exclusively through Anta’s website. Pricing is set at $125.

About the Author:

Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.



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