It was just one week ago or so when former Duke point guard Kyrie Irving figured out where he would be playing basketball for the first portion of his NBA career. It’s going to be in Cleveland. Okay, let me rephrase. Barring something unforeseen happening from now until June 23rd, Kyrie Irving should get used to cold weather and he should start to add a little wine and gold to his wardrobe because he is clearly the best player in this year’s draft and the Cavs need a point guard of the future to match up with some of the young floor generals in the Eastern Conference.
While he played just 11 games because of an injured toe, Irving showed all the talent that makes him worthy of being the first pick in the draft and before he got injured he was one of the best players in the country. He’s got everything that scouts look for in lead guard and while there will be lofty expectations for him to turn around a franchise like the Cavs who are still recovering from the loss of LeBron James, if I had to bet on one player in this year’s draft to become a future all-star, I would bet on Kyrie Irving.
Kyrie Irving joined WQAM in Miami with Joe Rose to talk about his experience at the NBA draft lottery, whether or not he met with teams at the lottery, whether or not he has thought about being the first overall pick, how tough it was to make the decision to turn pro, and whether or not he thinks Mike Krzyzewski will stay at Duke or eventually go to the NBA.
How the experience was at the NBA Draft lottery:
“It was great. It was a great experience. I live about 20 minutes from Secaucus where it actually happened so it was just a chance for me to experience the NBA Draft lottery which was something I dreamed of.”
Whether or not he was allowed to talk to reps from other teams:
“Yes sir. I met probably about 150 people at the NBA draft lottery.”
If he has thought about being the first overall pick:
“I’ve thought about it a little bit but right now the main focus is about me getting better every single day. That’s what I’m working towards. Whatever team wants me to come in and work out for them that’s what I’m going to do and just give it my all. That’s what I’m preparing for. Just preparing for the workouts and after I handle the workouts then I will worry about the NBA draft.”
How tough his decision was to turn pro:
“It was a really tough decision for me to decide to turn pro, but it was the best situation for me and my family. If I wouldn’t have come back for the NCAA Tournament for those three games and proved I was healthy I wouldn’t have come out because it was such a small window having only eight games, but getting the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament and prove that I was healthy and I was still good enough to play in the NBA that kinda made my decision a lot easier.”
If he came out because he was afraid of getting another injury:
“No. Not really. My first priority was to get my education. Being in high school I didn’t feel like I was ready to play in the NBA at all. I think in previous drafts I think people were preparing a little bit better than they prepare now. They had their freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, and senior year to worry about the NBA. I was focused on just getting a scholarship. That was my main focus. I think the body of work is totally different from previous drafts until now. I think that’s what separates the LeBron’s and all the other high school players that came out. They were so far ahead from our group.”
Whether or not he thinks Coach K will ever go to the NBA:
“I think he’s a Duke guy forever. He’s been with the program for so long. He just brought so much history and he set the standard for the next coach whenever that is for Duke. He’s a Duke Blue Devil all the way.”