Who is Kyrie Irving ?

 

Kyrie Andrew Irving (/ˈkaɪri/; Lakota: Ȟéla, lit. 'Little Mountain'; 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 seven-time All-Star and three-time member of the All-NBA Team, he won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.

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 February 2020, he was elected vice-president of the National Basketball Players Association, replacing Pau Gasol.[1]

Outside of competing, Irving is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and is an active philanthropist to his Lakota people on the reservation. He has written, directed and acted in a number of advertisements as the role of "Uncle Drew", which became a feature film in 2018. He has starred as himself in Kickin' It (2012) and has done voicework in We Bare Bears (2016) and Family Guy (2018).

 

Early life

Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 23, 1992;[2] the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, American expats, and the stepson of Shetellia Irving.[3] He has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London. His father, Drederick, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague (father of Jeff and Marquis Teague) and under coach Rick Pitino.[4] After completing his college career, Irving's father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers in the SEABL.[5] Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb of Kew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old.[6][7] He holds dual American and Australian citizenship.[6][8] His mother, who was half African American and half Sioux,[9] died of an illness when he was four, and Drederick raised him along with the help of Irving's aunts.[7][10][11] He is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and was given his Lakota name, Ȟéla (Little Mountain), in 2018 to honor both his heritage and to recognize the donations he made to the tribe during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.[12] Since then, he has continued to honor his Lakota heritage through donations to the tribe, designing Nike shoes dedicated to his tribe as well as burning sage before every game.[13][14][15]

Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, where he frequently attended his father's adult-league games.[16][7] 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."[7] Due to his father's connection to Boston University, Irving spent a lot of time in Boston, including at BU's basketball skills camp. Irving said that in fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff.[17] As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).

 

 

High school career

Irving behind high school teammate and future NBA forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Irving played for Montclair Kimberley Academy in his freshman and sophomore years in high school. He averaged 26.5 points, 10.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.6 steals and became only the second 1,000 point scorer in the school's history. In his sophomore year, he led MKA to its first New Jersey Prep 'B' state title.[18][20] After that year, he transferred to St. Patrick High School because he felt he needed a bigger challenge.[18] He had to sit out the first 30 days of St. Patrick's season due to the transfer.[20] At St. Patrick, Irving played with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was widely regarded as one of the best players in the class of 2011.[21][22]

In his first season, Irving averaged 17.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game, and led the team to its third New Jersey Tournament of Champions title in four years. In August 2009, he led the USA East to the tournament title in the Nike Global Challenge. He was the MVP with 21.3 points and 4.3 assists per game.[19] The next year, St. Patrick was banned from the state tournament for holding practice prior to the permitted start of the winter sports season.[19][23] St. Patrick went 24–3 and won the Union County Tournament championship as he finished his senior year with 24.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.[19]

On January 19, 2010, Irving was selected to the 2010 Junior National Select Team. The team played at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, on April 10.[19][24] He was also selected to play in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game and the 2010 Jordan Brand Classic, where he was named co-MVP with Harrison Barnes.[25][26] In June 2010, Irving was a part of the United States gold medal-winning team at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship.[27]

 

College career


Irving committed to Duke on October 22, 2009, in a television broadcast on ESPNU.[28] Irving played with the Blue Devils during the 2010–11 basketball season under the guidance of head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Through the first eight games of the season, he averaged 17.4 points per game on 53.2% shooting, 5.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

Irving was a strong contender for NCAA Freshman of the Year until he suffered a severe ligament injury in his right big toe during the ninth game of the season.[29] On March 17, the day before Duke played Hampton in the first round of the NCAA tournament, he returned for his first game since his injury.[30][31]

Duke advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament but fell to Arizona. Irving scored 28 points in what turned out to be his last game for Duke.

 

 

Professional career

Irving (center) at the 2011 NBA Draft with other draftees
Cleveland Cavaliers (2011–2017)
2011–12 season: Rookie of the Year
Irving announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of eligibility and enter the 2011 NBA draft, where he was selected with the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers.[33][34] Irving was named to the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge, where he played for Team Chuck. Irving scored 34 points in the game, going 8-of-8 from three-point range, and earned MVP honors.[35] He also won the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Award with 117 of a possible 120 first-place votes.[36] He was the only unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.[37] For the season, Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and shot 46.9% from the field, including 39.9% on three-pointers.[38]

2012–13 season: First All-Star season

Irving during warm-ups in 2012
At a Las Vegas Cavaliers practice on July 14, 2012, Irving sustained a broken right hand after reportedly slapping it against a padded wall after committing a turnover.[39] "I am a little disappointed", he said. "I have to be more responsible about my health. It was just crazy. It happened so fast."[39] It was announced that Irving would require hand surgery on July 18.[40][41]

At the start of the 2012–13 NBA season, Irving injured his index finger in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. He played in the Cavaliers' next game, but the injury forced him to miss three weeks of action.[42] In his second game back, while donning a black protective face mask to protect a broken bone he suffered against Milwaukee, Irving scored his then career-high 41 points against the New York Knicks. He became the youngest player in NBA history to score 40 points in Madison Square Garden; he was a year younger than Michael Jordan, who did it in 1985.[43]

The coaches selected Irving to play in his first All-Star game. He finished with 15 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds.[44] He also participated in the Rising Stars Challenge again, scoring 32 points for Team Shaq in a losing effort.[45] Irving participated in the Three-Point Contest and recorded 23 points in the final round to win the event.[46] He ended his second season with averages of 22.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.[47]

2013–14 season: All-Star Game MVP

Irving with the Cleveland Cavaliers in October 2013
Fans chose Irving to be the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star game.[48] He was the All-Star game MVP, recording 31 points and 14 assists as the East beat the West 163–155.[49]

On February 28, 2014, Irving recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 99–79 win over the Utah Jazz. This was also the Cavaliers' first triple-double since March 16, 2010.[50] On April 5, 2014, Irving recorded a then career-high 44 points in a 96–94 overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.[51][52] Irving averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on the season.

 

 

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