Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  10 responses

Top Draft Pick Kyrie Irving: ‘I’ve Got Some Big Shoes to Fill’

Even though he’s tried to distance himself from it, Kyrie Irving knows the specter of LeBron James looms above everything he’ll do in Cleveland, but he seems to be embracing the pressure that comes with those expectations (for now, anyway.) From the Star-Ledger: “A minute before he stepped onto the stage to begin his NBA career, Kyrie Irving heard the boos. They were not meant for him, of course. Here in Newark, just a few miles from where the West Orange native became a high school star at St. Patrick, he gets nothing but love. No, they were meant for the player who flashed briefly on the screen at the Prudential Center, wearing a white suit and a smile. The scoreboard screen was showing the other No. 1 overall picks of the Cleveland Cavaliers, starting with Austin Carr and Brad Daugherty. Then came LeBron James. And, just in case Irving needed a reminder of the wounds he’ll be expected to help heal in Cleveland, the anger filled the arena just before he shook David Stern’s hand. ‘BOOOOOO!!!’ Irving understands what it means to be a No. 1 pick. He was the one with the camera and the boom mic following him everywhere in the Rock, the one who will forever be on a list with legends like Patrick Ewing, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal. Being No. 1, Irving said, means ‘that I’ve got some big shoes to fill.’ Those shoes in this case belong to the player who ran out on Cleveland last summer on national television. Irving cannot replace James as a player — he is a building block, not a superstar. But Cleveland fans are getting the type of player fans will love watching, and the type of person whose jersey they can safely buy without ever being tempted to burn it the streets. ‘No. 1 picks, they have a lot of expectations on them,’ Irving said, ‘and I plan on exceeding them.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Recent NO1′s
    Kwame, Oden
    It always happens to big men.

  • Riggs

    I think he’s gonna be meh.

  • Gaz

    BETCATS: ‘I’ve got some big rectums to fill’

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    Wasn’t the draft great ?

  • coggie13

    Kids destined to fail, poor bugger.

  • All Day

    I’m not sure what to make if Kyrie, because he didn’t play that many games in college. He doesn’t possess great size, strength, or athleticism, but neither did Chris Paul. Will he remind us of Chris Paul or Tony Parker or will he remind us of Chris Duhon or William Avery (former Duke PGs).

  • Feez22

    … Maybe the cavs can break 9th place this year …

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    whats all of this “the kid doesn’t have athleticism” stuff?? I’m hearing it absolutely everywhere and it couldn’t be further from the truth. What Kyrie’s got are gears, he can be a blur in the open court and play under control in the half court, something a lot of young guards struggle with. The kid is a great athlete, with elite quickness and an NBA handle. He’s been a winner at every level, playing with Baron Davis will only help his cause. He’ll do fine

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    He has the aussie ‘underdog’ credential!

  • Al

    Kyrie cannot be judged because he hasent play a nba game yet and his playing time in duke was limited but from wat i hav seen he has potential because he is fast n is also a better passer than rose n westbrook