Chillin’ with Kyrie Irving
Duke guard says he wants to play with Austin Rivers.
After watching Kyrie Irving straight kill guys at the Greater NC Pro-Am, we had a chance to catch up with the Twitter all-star and see what’s good with him. A SLAM 2010 HS First Team All-American, it had been a minute since we caught up with Kyrie from the photo shoot in Times Square. Believe it or not, he’s taken his game to an even higher level since then, winning a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U-18 Championships. .
Simply put, Kyrie was able to do whatever he wanted out on the floor at the Pro-Am. Everyone knew he had an advanced skill set in high school, but I didn’t think that it’d be this easy for him against guys who will be starting for the Triangle schools next season. Irving’s jumper has gotten even better, he was able to explode by guys off of the dribble, and played outstanding defense. Mind you that he did all of this while still showing off his pristine basketball IQ and sick court vision.
Easily the MVP of the three days that we were down in Durham, the next time we may be interviewing Kyrie is when he’s getting ready to walk across the stage to shake David Stern’s hand — one-and-done is that much within his reach.
Here’s what Kyrie had to say about the Pro-Am, the possibility of playing with Austin Rivers at Duke, and how things are going to work at Duke with so many talented guards:
SLAM: The last time we saw you was in April for the SLAM All-American shoot and the Jordan Classic. How have things changed since?
Kyrie Irving: Most importantly, the physical aspect of the game has changed for me. Coming in as a freshman, it’s going to be a physical challenge for me. It’s going to be a transition for me.
SLAM: At the Pro-Am, it’s more of an up and down, open style of play. You’ve been known as a system guy who has ran a lot of sets at both the high school and AAU levels. Has that been a big adjustment for you to play more one on one type basketball?
KI: When have you ever seen me as a system guy?
SLAM: Perhaps not a system guy, but with both the Roadrunners and at St. Pat’s you ran a number of sets…
KI: Well, I mean I wouldn’t say system guy…
SLAM: That was my bad on that one. I didn’t mean system per se, but meant being able to truly run plays as opposed to the usual open, up and down style that most coaches give their star playmakers in high school.
KI: You always have to have the knowledge of secondary offense in the half court as well to how to go in the full court. So I guess you can call me a “system guy.” [Laughs]
SLAM: Speaking of actual systems, you’re a potential “one and done” guy yourself. You chose to go to a program that generally does not produce guys who go to the League after a year. Was that something that was in the back of your mind when you made your college decision?
KI: Honestly, players play. Talent is always going to be there. That wasn’t my main focus in going to Duke. I went to Duke for basketball and education. The one and done thing is in the back of the mind, like it would be for everyone. I’m just thinking about school.
SLAM: I was just with Austin Rivers at the Peach Jam, and he’s stated publicly that he’d love to play with you. Have you talked to Austin about things?
KI: Austin and I were together for three weeks at USA basketball camp and for me being “one and done,” I would reconsider it if Austin were to come to Duke.
SLAM: At Duke, how do you think it’s going to really go with three smaller guards who can all really go in yourself (6-2), Seth Curry (6-3), and Nolan Smith (6-3)…and even Dawkins (6-4)? How are you guys going to make that work?
KI: It’s not really my job, that’s Coach K’s. Coach K is going to decide who plays the most playing time and how we’re going to play the guards. We have Mason and Miles, then we have Kyle (Singler) who can play the 4. We all have different combinations, but it’s ultimately up to Coach K.