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SIA Collective's Devlin Carter details meeting with Kyrie Irving’s team

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Since Nike made the decision to end its relationship with KyrieIrving and discontinue his signature shoeafter he shared the documentary "Hebrews To Negroes," many brandshave reportedly reached out to his camp to attempt to lure him intojoining them — Adidas, New Balance and PUMA to name afew.

During a postgame conference while discussing being a shoecompany free agent, the lone company Irving has publiclyacknowledged as a possibility was SIA Collective. In addition, heexplained that he is not in a rush and wants to take his time tofind the right place so he doesn’t duplicate a similar situation asthe one he had with Nike, who he referred to as “that otherbrand.”

“Number one, I’m in no rush to make any business decisions rightnow…. I just want to take my time," Irving said on Dec. 28 afterthe Brooklyn Nets' win over the Atlanta Hawks. "In terms of SIACollective — great brand, great brothers, great operation teambehind the scenes. But again, I'm looking for a home where we canbuild a huge marketplace and I can have some ownership, and thattakes time to build. So I’m willing to stay patient, but work withpeople that are willing to work with me.

“SIA Collective has been a great brand to converse with, but Idon’t want to settle with one. I think I just want to keep myoptions open, look for ownership and enjoy the free agency for alittle bit. It’s been a long time coming, and then, I think thereare a lot of details that are going to come out in the future aboutwhat was actually going on. And I think once my platform iscreated, when I can do that, then we'll share that. But shout outto SIA Collective and everybody that's been recruiting me duringthe process. I’m appreciative. But I’m definitely not going to goback into a similar contract that I was in — or any type ofsituation or circumstance that I was in or similar to what I was at— with that other brand.”

Kyrie Irving was asked about his sneakerfree agency & touched upon what went wrong with Nike"There are a lot of details that are going to come out in thefuture about what was actually going on. I'm not going to go into asimilar contract I was with at the other brand" pic.twitter.com/K8AUxOEXnh

— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) December 29, 2022

Since then, many have been asking: Who is SIA Collective, andwhat are they about?

On the latest episode of the TheRematch, I had the opportunity to sit down with the founder ofSIA Collective, Devlin Carter, who founded the company in 2019. SIACollective, which stands for Somewhere in America, is anindependent, Black-owned shoe and apparel company.

Almost immediately after Nike dropped the Nets star, Carter tookto social media to make a public plea to Kyrie to sign with SIACollective instead of Adidas or PUMA or New Balance or any of theother companies that have reached out following the Nike divorce.The main theme of his pitch is that he is open to offering Irvingthe very ownership that he expressed is his desire. In Carter'swords: "When you have that nobody can drop you because they don’tagree with something you do or say.”

During our interview, Carter detailed his meeting with Kyrie’sentire team, and expressed why he feels SIA Collective would be theperfect fit for Irving.

Etan Thomas: So, you made the video initially afterNike decided to essentially drop Kyrie Irving making the plea tohim to consider joining SIA Collective, and the response from thevideo was that a lot of people in the community started taggingKyrie in your video to try to connect you with Kyrie, so walk usthrough what happened after that point.

Devlin Carter: :Sure. So after I made thevideo, I got a DM of Kyrie’s agent Shetellia Riley Irving saying,'Hey, send me an e-mail at your earliest convenience.' So I sentthe e-mail and they responded asking when I was available for aZoom call. I responded, 'Whenever you guys are, I’m open. Whatevery’all want (laughing). We can do it right now if you want.'

"So we had it scheduled for Friday — not this Friday that justpassed, but the prior Friday. So we had that set up, and in betweenthat meeting, I also sent them a shoe that we’ve been working oncalled the EVO Bounce, which is a performance basketball shoe. So Isent them some images of it. I had my photo shop guy mock it up ina Brooklyn Nets design and put a No. 11 on it. And (Shetellia) hitme right back and asked, 'When could you get us this shoe?' So Iexplained to them that, right now, we were in the sole process. Sowe’re making the sole and adding the technology to it, but I said,'As soon as we’re done, I’ll send you as many samples as youneed.'"

Etan: So they had a quick response?

Carter: "Yes, and I can tell by how quicklythey responded that they liked the design of the shoe. That’s onething that I don’t have any issues or concerns about is my abilityto design a dope looking basketball shoe for Kyrie. So then, fromthere, we had the meeting on the Zoom call, and it’s me, his agentShetellia Riley Irving, Kyrie’s dad (Drederick) and anothergentleman who is Kyrie’s brand manager. So we’re all on the Zoomand Shetellia is quarterbacking the call. And she tells thegentlemen to tell me about themselves, so basically, they’repitching me. And I’m thinking, 'Wow, I think I should be pitchingmyself to y’all.'"

Etan: Right, right, but they’re telling youabout who they are.

Carter: "Yeah. So Kyrie’s dad — super cool,super down to earth. He’s telling me how he worked in finance andis from the Bronx. And the brand manager told me how he startedwith Kyrie and (how) he used to work with Nike, but left Nike towork solely with Kyrie, and how he helps his sister (Asia) with herbranding and whatnot. And Shetellia tells me how she worked at BETand launching Power 105.1 (in New York). And then, they asked mehow I started, my whole background in fashion design. Then, theystarted pitching questions."

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