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NBA

Tennis star Osaka tells Nets’ Irving there’s “always room” in new agency

Naomi Osaka has said she is to establish her own agency, Evolve - and NBA star Kyrie Irving was quick to express an apparent interest in joining.

Update:
Naomi Osaka has said she is to establish her own agency, Evolve - and NBA star Irving was quick to express an apparent interest in joining.
EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZAFP

Tennis ace Naomi Osaka has told the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving that there’s “always room” after the NBA star asked if basketball players were welcome in her new agency.

Four-time grand slam winner Osaka – who withdrew from the Internazionali d’Italia this week due to an Achilles injury she suffered at the Madrid Open – announced on Wednesday she was leaving IMG to start her own agency, Evolve, with long-time agent Stuart Duguid.

Duguid told Reuters the venture will be a “small boutique and bespoke agency” that will only welcome athletes “who transcend their sports; or those with the potential to do so”.

Irving: “Yall got room over at your agency for hoopers”?

Irving is one of the leading players in the NBA, and the Nets star hinted at his interest on Twitter, messaging Osaka on Wednesday to ask: “yall got room over at your agency for hoopers. Just inquiring” with an emoji of two champagne flutes clinking together.

Osaka replied on Thursday simply saying: “always room” with the same champagne emoji as well as one of a basketball.

The 24-year-old said on Wednesday that the move was to make the “next step” in her journey “as an athlete and a businesswoman”, telling Sportico: “I’ve spent my career doing things my way, even when people told me that it wasn’t what was expected or traditional.

“Evolve is the natural next step in my journey as both an athlete and businesswoman, as well as a way to continue being myself and doing things my way.”

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