‘Kyrie Irving donated over $2 million this year’: Is it time to stop vilifying The Nets star, HE’S A GREAT PERSON FIRST, AND ALSO A GREAT NBA PLAYER, PERIOD.
WHO IS KYRIE IRVING
Kyrie Andrew Irving (/ˈkaɪri/; born March 23, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was named the Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. A six-time All-Star and two-time member of the All-NBA Team, he won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.
Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 23, 1992, the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, American expats, and the stepson of Shetellia Irving. He has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London. His father, Drederick, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague and under coach Rick Pitino. After completing his college career, Irving’s father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers in the SEABL. Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb of Kew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old. He holds dual American and Australian citizenship. His mother, who was half Sioux, died of an illness when he was four, and Drederick raised him along with the help of Irving’s aunts.
Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, where he frequently attended his father’s adult-league games. His inspiration to play in the NBA came after playing at Continental Airlines Arena during a school trip in fourth grade, when he declared, “I will play in the NBA, I promise.” Due to his father’s connection to Boston University, Irving spent a lot of time in Boston, including at BU’s basketball skills camp. In fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff. As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the Cavaliers in 2011. He won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the 2014 All-Star Game. In the 2016 NBA Finals, Irving made the championship-winning three-point field goal to complete the Cavaliers’ historic comeback over the Golden State Warriors. After another Finals appearance in 2017, Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Boston Celtics. He played as a Celtic for two seasons, after which he signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in 2019. He has also played for the United States national team, with which he won gold at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, he starred in the film Uncle Drew. In February 2020, he was elected vice-president of the National Basketball Players Association,
Irving’s shoe deal with Nike is worth US$11 million, as of 2019. His signature sneakers were the second best-selling line of 2017, behind LeBron James‘. The NPD Group no longer tracks signature sneakers but projected that the trend continued into 2018. Irving’s themed sneaker collaborations include that of the television shows Friends and SpongeBob SquarePants. The latter collection sold out immediately.
Irving enjoys reading and has a journal. He also likes to sing, dance, and play the baritone sax. His godfather is former NBA player Rod Strickland. His cousin, Isaiah Briscoe, was a highly rated basketball player who played at the University of Kentucky before declaring for the 2017 NBA draft. Irving and his ex-girlfriend have a daughter together, Azurie Elizabeth Irving, who was born on November 23, 2015. Azurie’s middle name, Elizabeth, was given to her in honor of Irving’s late mother.
In May 2011, Irving made a promise to his father to finish his bachelor’s degree at Duke within five years. However, in 2016, having not achieved his degree, he claimed he was putting his plans on hold, stating, “when I leave the game of basketball, then I’ll focus on the next step of my life”. In 2015, he launched his PSD Underwear collection.
In November 2016, Irving tweeted his support for the water protectors at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation who were demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Protesters say the pipeline, which crosses under the river and across the region’s aquifer, violates treaty law and sacred burial grounds on the land at Standing Rock; there is urgent concern that the crude oil passing through the pipeline threatens the safety of the drinking the water supply of not only the Standing Rock community, but that of many surrounding communities, both Native and non-Native. In August 2018, Irving and his older sister were honored with a “welcome home” ceremony at Standing Rock, acknowledging their family ties to the community. Irving’s mother was a member of the tribe and lived on the reservation until her adoption at a young age. Their late grandmother and great-grandparents also have ties to the reservation community.
|Career highlights and awards|
MORE ON KYRIE
Kevin Durant and James Harden have imagined the possibilities for the Nets, how lethal they can be when Kyrie Irving returns from his personal leave.
Wednesday in Cleveland, it is expected to become a reality, and Irving sounded just as eager as his coach and superstar teammates to see what the three in-their-prime perennial All-Stars can do together.
“It’s very exciting just to have James here,” he said over Zoom on Tuesday in his first public comments since stepping away. “It’s just really exciting, just to be able to play with great players that have just been here in the league for awhile, have been through ups and downs, the peaks and valleys.
“So you know James is aligned with us in terms of just experience, and adding that to our locker room is going to be great for us.”
After averaging 27.1 points and 6.1 assists in seven games, Irving missed the next seven contests. While he was away, the Nets landed Harden from the Rockets in a three-team deal.
Since Harden joined the Nets, they are 2-0, with victories over the Magic and the Bucks, one of their chief competitors in the Eastern Conference. Harden averaged 33 points and 13 assists in the wins, while Durant produced 42 points against the Magic and 30 more in the victory over the Bucks.
Now Brooklyn is adding Irving to the mix, creating a trio of elite scorers with 24 combined All-Star Game appearances among them. It could take time for the three players to get comfortable playing with one another, Nash warned. While Harden and Durant could lean on their past experience playing together with the Thunder, this will be new for Irving, playing with another ball-dominant player such as Harden.
“It’s hard to build chemistry without playing, and we’re not playing in practice. So the chemistry is going to be formed on the floor during games,” Nash said. “It’s going to take some time. But we’re excited about the possibilities, and it was great to have him out on the floor and to have Ky back in the building.”
KYRIE IRVING SAYS, I’M HAPPY TO BE BACK, AND WE ARE HAPPY YOU’RE HEALTHY AND READY TO GO.
GOOD LUCK KYRIE, YOUR ARE A GREAT PERSON, AND A GREAT PLAYER