Kyrie Irving: The best thing happen to Cleveland since…well, you know who
As everyone who owns a television knows, LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami after the 2010 season. James’ exodus left Cleveland devastated. Fans were burning number 23 jerseys in the streets, weeping in bars and cursing the name that brought them relevance for seven seasons. Many, including Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert, were left saltier than an empty bag of pretzels. However, Cleveland was gifted with a savior quite soon after The King U-Hauled his throne to the Panhandle.
The Cavaliers had a 19.9 percent chance of landing the first pick in the 2011 draft from their own bid and a 2.8 percent chance via the Clippers. As luck, or David Stern, would have it, the Cavs landed that first overall pick. The past two number one overall picks have left NBA fans scratching their heads. New Orleans just happened to get it this past draft while Stern owned the team. Cleveland got it after LeBron left, they might both be coincidences, but it sure seemed like Stern was trying to console teams that had been “wronged.”
But, back to the Cavs’ new savior. His name is Kyrie Irving, and he is quite the ball player. The former Duke point guard flew Coach K’s coop after playing just 11 games for the Blue Devils due to injuries. Many questioned the decision at the time, but no one questions it now. Cleveland proceeded to draft him first overall, and it’s been a love affair ever since.
Irving brought home the Rookie of the Year award last year after averaging 18.5 points and 5.4 assists last season with some sub-par teammates. He’s off to an even better start this year, averaging 24. 3 points a game and 6.5 assists. He’s currently fourth in the NBA in scoring, LeBron is fifth. You can’t make that kind of stuff up.
He has the personality to become a worldwide superstar. He has the skills to be a perennial all-star. Does that sound familiar Cleveland?
He’s starring in Nike and soda commercials. Making Anderson Varejao look like an all-star. And putting Cleveland on his back. I mean, he’s even making Dion Waiters look like a good pick at fourth overall, that in itself is a miracle. The LeBron comparison is valid and evident.
The Cavs lost a superstar and gained an eventual one, all in a single, absurd summer. Granted, Kyrie is no LeBron. No one but Lebron is LeBron. He is a physical freak of nature with an off-the-charts basketball IQ . Yet, Kyrie is about as good as it gets otherwise. In a league dominated by the point guard position, the Cavs have the most promising young one.
People are going to Cavs games to see Kyrie Irving. He alone is worth the price of admission.
Irving will make the all-star team not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven but eight or more times. (I’m sorry I couldn’t avoid that, LeBron brought it upon himself)
The Cavs are 2-6 right now, but things are still looking up. Kyrie is still young, but he’s blossoming rapidly. Varejao is a reliable big man with Irving dishing him the rock. Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson and (apparently) Dion Waiters are some pieces with potential. If the Cavs can land a Mo Williams type scorer like they did when LBJ was there, Cleveland has a playoff team.
Three years after LeBron took his talents to South Beach, there is hope in Cleveland. No one saw that coming.