Kyrie Irving on the Evolution of his Crossover
Catching up with the Cavs guard at his ProCamp in Cleveland.
by Brendan Bowers / @BowersCLE
Kyrie Irving’s crossover left defenders all over the League standing still this past season. His patented move hasn’t been glossed with a handle like the Utep Two-Step yet, but maybe it should be.
“When I was younger, I always wanted the AI Crossover,” Irving said from his ProCamp in Cleveland. “In elementary school that was the only move I had, was the Allen Iverson crossover. I probably practiced that crossover a million times.”
From there, the Cavaliers point guard says he reached back into the NBA archives for elements of two other crossovers in the construction of his own.
“I had the Timmy Hardaway too,” Irving told SLAM. “I practiced the Tim Hardaway move over a million times as well, along with the KJ (Kevin Johnson), which was just go by everybody with quickness. Over time, I combined all of them together, and made it into my own move.
“It was fun learning from those guys, and watching CP3 too, all of them,” Kyrie added. “I grew up on all of them, and I’ve incorporated different things from all their games into mine.”
The Cleveland area gym that played host to Kyrie Irving’s Basketball Camp was at capacity on Saturday, with young ballers now trying to learn from him. As far as that crossover’s concerned, Kyrie said he’s happy to teach whoever wants to learn it.
“Anybody can learn it,” Irving said. “I don’t know about my crossover specifically, but anybody can have their own crossover. Mine’s kind of wild, but anybody can learn it if they just work hard.”
After being selected first overall last June, this was the second summer in a row that Kyrie’s ProCamp was held in Cleveland—something Irving went on to say means even more to him this time around.
“The camp definitely feels more special for me this year,” Irving noted. “After just being drafted last year, Cleveland was new to me. But this year, after winning the Rookie of the Year, bringing it back to the city, it’s a great opportunity to have this camp and give back to the community. It’s a big deal to me.”
It’s also an opportunity for Irving to reflect back on the days he spent at basketball camps just like this one.
“It does take me back to when I was camper,” Irving said of his ProCamp’s experience. “I was at Boston University’s Elite Camp, and I tease my Dad about this still, but that’s where Boston University offered me [a scholarship] my fifth grade year.”
To my knowledge, there were no fifth graders receiving D-I attention on Saturday in Cleveland. That’s not really important though, as Kyrie continued: “I was in their position at one point,” he said. “Now I’m just trying to pass along as much knowledge to as many people as I can. I’ve been in these kids’ position, and I know how it feels. Any advice I can offer back to them I’m willing to do, and that’s why I hold these camps.”
Kyrie was fully engaged in his camp as the first day went on. After speaking for a few minutes to tip things off, he threw on referee’s jersey, grabbed a whistle, and went to work. He missed some calls in the three camp games he officiated, but it was nothing but love out there on the court.
“Having this camp is a great opportunity for me to interact with a lot more kids from all over Ohio, so it’s a great thing,” Irving said. “I have a little sister, so it’s easy for me to get along with kids. I’ve always been that way.”
Wearing an air-cast on his right wrist, the result of an injury he suffered in a Vegas Summer League practice last month, Irving also spoke on his rehab process.
“My hand’s alright,” he told the media gathered at the camp. “The way it happened was a freak accident, it wasn’t an anger play or anything like that. It was just like dang, I messed up, and I slapped the wall.”
“I’ve had the surgery, and right now it’s just about rehabbing. I’ll be back on the court by September 1st, and I’ll be 150 percent by training camp.”
Irving also said that he doesn’t expect his injured hand to have any lingering effects by then either.
“It was lethal before,” Irving joked with respect to his injured right hand. “And when I come back it’ll be even more lethal.”
His crossover move will be even more lethal, too. Now we just need a name for it.