Nick Kyrgios kicks off all-star partnership.
Nick Kyrgios kicks a career peak at next week's Australian Open.
In a mash of hardcourt and hardwood, Kyrgios will take the court armed with an NBA all-star on the tip of his tongue.
Boston Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving, who was born in Melbourne and is Kyrgios' favorite player, has collaborated with the 23-year-old Aussie on the new Nike Vapor X Kyrie 5 tennis shoe.
Kyrgios will wear the shoe throughout the Australian Open.
"Yeah, it’s arguably the biggest moment of my career," Kyrgios told Complex. "I’m going to go out in front of my home crowd wearing the tennis shoes that share the name with my favorite basketball player. Representing Kyrie and myself at the same time, in front of such a big stage, is pretty crazy."
Kyrie Irving's logo is embedded on the NikeCourt logo on the shoe's tongue.
The Swoosh brand aims to "brings basketball performance to tennis and blends the innovations and styles," Alex Restivo, NikeCourt footwear product director, told Complex.
The shoe recalls another flamboyant Nike shotmaker—Andre Agassi—putting pops of the "hot lava" that made pink a power color when Agassi wore it at the 1990 Roland Garros on the shoe's heel.
A 2015 Australian Open quarterfinalist, Kyrgios reached the fourth round at his home Slam last year, bowing to Grigor Dimitrov.
The 51st-ranked Kyrgios, who will be unseeded in Melbourne, explained his custom of walking on court wearing Air Jordans before changing into his tennis shoes.
Kicks can reveal character, according to Kyrgios.
"It started when I was young," Kyrgios told Complex of his shoe-changing habit. "I had this superstition that I couldn’t wear my tennis shoes before or after a match. I feel like you can kind of gauge someone’s personality by the kicks they wear. That was a little bit of a sneak preview of what I was about before I started playing."
Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve