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Kyrie Irving Debuts Anta Kai 1 Speed Sneaker in Colorway Designed by His Father During NBA Finals


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Kyrie Irving unveiled a sleeker version of his Anta Kai 1 sneaker with a colorway designed by his father, Dred Irving, during warmups for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Anta Kai 1 Speed “Twin Flames” is a pared down version of his first signature sneaker from Anta that reduces the weight and does away with the forefoot strap. Irving previously wore the Kai 1 Speed in two colorways during the Dallas Mavericks’ closeout win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but nothing was then known about the prototype sneaker.

“Twin Flames” is a reference to the relationship between Irving’s parents, Dred and Elizabeth Irving, who met at Boston University while they were both student athletes. Just this week, it was reported that Dred has become the first athlete signed by Kyrie to a signature shoe deal under his Anta banner.

Purple is intended to represent Dred, while orange is for Elizabeth and pink their energy and love that led to Irving’s birth.

The Anta Kai 1 Speed is Irving’s second sneaker from Anta and will be followed by the Kai Tribe, a lifestyle sneaker to release in the fall. Anta launched the Kai 1 in March, just eight months after it had announced it signed Irving to a deal, and each of the seven colorways released thus far have sold out, including the “Playoff Energy” edition that dropped Wednesday, the day before the NBA Finals began.

Irving ended a brief period of sneaker free agency by signing with Anta after he had been dropped by Nike because he had shared a documentary to social media featuring anti-semitic views and took his time before apologizing. While Irving’s new partnership has been successful, so much so that a spokesperson for the brand told Footwear News it could likely sell 10 times more than what it’s been able to put on the American market so far, the U.S. congress has also eyed the brand for its alleged use of forced labor.

Irving’s Mavericks were blown out by the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Game 2 will be played Sunday night in Boston.

The Anta Kai 1 Speed “Twin Flames” does not yet have any release details, but Footwear News will keep you abreast of any updates.

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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