With his latest move, NBA star Kyrie Irving has transformed his basketball career into a family affair.
Shetellia Riley Irving, the Brooklyn Nets player’s stepmother, has been hired as his new agent. According to sports analyst Shams Charania, Irving’s switch-up makes her the only Black woman representing an active NBA player.
Irving’s prior representation, Roc Nation and Jeff Wechsler, has been replaced by Shetellia. According to Bleacher Report, the new NBA agent is currently BET’s VP of Ad Sales. Shetellia will play a crucial role in either shot Irving calls, whether he chooses his $36,647,050 player option for the 2022-23 season or opts to become a free agent.
Irving’s wager on Black women in athletics isn’t the first time he’s done so.
AfroTech earlier revealed that he met with WNBA players Natasha Cloud and Jewell Loyd to explore whether or not they would play in 2020. Irving used his KAI Empowerment Initiative to donate $1.5 million to WNBA players who choose not to play.
“Whether a person decided to fight for social justice, play basketball, focus on physical or mental health, or simply connect with their families, this initiative can hopefully support their priorities and decisions,” Irving expressed in a statement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers promoted Shelly Cayette to executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) shortly before Irving hired Shetellia as his agent, as previously reported by AfroTech, making her the first Black woman to serve as the COO of an NBA team.
“Look, I’ve got to tell you – part of me would like to see the day when I’m not making history,” said Cayette. “It’s nice to know that I’m the first, but hopefully I can open doors so there aren’t any more first. The goal is to do away with firsts.”