Kyrie Andrew Irving (born March 23, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Irving was born in Melbourne, Australia, but grew up in West Orange, New Jersey. He played college basketball for Duke University before being selected with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Cavaliers. Irving has achieved a number of accolades, including the 2011–12 NBA Rookie of the Year, 2014 NBA All-Star Game MVP, and an NBA championship in 2016. He has also played for the United States national team, with whom he has won gold at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Irving was born on March 23, 1992 in Melbourne, Australia. He is the son of Dredrick and Elizabeth Irving and the step-son of Shetellia Irving. He has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London. His father, Drederick, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague and under coach Rick Pitino. After completing his college career, Irving's father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers. Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb ofKew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old. He has dual citizenship in the United States and Australia. Irving's mother, Elizabeth, died from an illness when he was four, so Drederick raised him with the help of Irving's aunts.
Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, where he often went to his dad's adult-league games. His inspiration to play in the NBA came after playing at Continental Airlines Arena during a school trip in fourth grade where he stated "I will play in the NBA, I promise." As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
High SchoolEditIrving played for Montclair Kimberley Academy 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 school's 2nd 1,000 point scorer. In his sophomore year, he led MKA to its first New Jersey Prep 'B' state title. After that year, he transferred to St. Patrick High School because he felt he needed a bigger challenge. He had to sit out the first 30 games of St. Patrick's season due to the transfer. While at St. Patrick, Irving played with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who was widely regarded as one of the best players in the class of 2011. In his first season at St. Patrick, Irving averaged 17.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 6.0 apg. and 2.0 spg. He also led his team to their third New Jersey Tournament of Champions title in four years. In August 2009, he played in the Nike Global Challengein which he led the USA East to the tournament title. He was the MVP with 21.3 ppg. and 4.3 apg. The following year, St. Patrick was banned from the state tournament for holding practice prior to the permitted start of the winter sports season. Despite being banned from the state tournament, St. Patrick went 24-3 and won the Union County Tournament championship. Kyrie finished his senior year with 24.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg. and 7.0 apg. In his two years at St. Patrick, he lettered twice. On January 19, 2010, Irving was selected to the 2010 Junior National Select Team. The team played at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit at theRose Garden in Portland, Oregon, on April 10. He was also selected to play in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game and the 2010Jordan Brand Classic, where he was named as co-MVP with Harrison Barnes. In June 2010, Irving was a part of the United States gold medal winning team at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship. Irving was the #2 player in the class of 2010 by Scout.com, #3 player in the ESPNU 100, and rated as the #4 player by Rivals.com. In addition, he was ranked #1 among point guards by ESPNU in 2010.
Irving committed to Duke on October 22, 2009, in a television broadcast on ESPNU. Irving played with Duke 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. He was quickly making his case for NCAA Freshman of the Year but in Duke's 9th game of the season, Irving suffered a severe ligament injury in his right big toe that sidelined him indefinitely. On March 17, the day before Duke played Hampton in the first round of the NCAA tournament, it was revealed that Irving would return for his first game since December 4.
Duke advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament but would fall to Arizona. Irving scored 28 points in what turned out to be his last game for Duke
Accolades and early struggles (2011–14) Edit
Irving announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of eligibility and enter the 2011 NBA Draft, where he was selected with the number 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving signed a contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers alongside rookie teammate Tristan Thompson on December 10, 2011. Both Irving and Thompson were named to the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge. Irving played for Team Chuck while Thompson played for Team Shaq. Irving scored 34 points in the game, including going 8-8 from three-point range, and earned MVP honors. For the season, Irving won the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, receiving 117 of a possible 120 first-place votes. He was also the only unanimous selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. For the season, Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and shot 46.9 percent from the field, including 39.9 percent on three-pointers.
At the start of the 2012–13 NBA season, Irving injured his index finger in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. While he did play in the Cavaliers' next game, Irving's injury forced him to miss three weeks of action. 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 when Jordan did it in 1985. Irving was selected by the coaches to play in his first All-Star game. He finished with 15 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. He also participated in the Rising Stars Challenge again, scoring 32 points for Team Shaq in a losing effort. Irving also participated in the NBA NBA Three-Point Shootout and recorded 23 points in the final round to win the event. Irving ended his sophomore campaign with averages of 22.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
Irving was voted by the fans to be the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 NBA All-Star game. Irving recorded 31 points and 14 assists and went on to win the All-Star game MVP as the East beat the West 163-155.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. On April 5, 2014, Irving recorded a then career high 44 points in a 96-94 overtime loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. He averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on the season.
Big Three Era Edit
On July 10, 2014, Irving signed a five-year, $90 million contract extension with the Cavaliers.His contract extension came in the wake of LeBron James' return to Cleveland and Kevin Love's trade request from Minnesota, as the trio teamed up to start a new "Big Three" in Cleveland. The team got off to a 19–20 start in their first 39 games, closed out the season on a high note, going 34–9. During the season, Irving scored then career-high 55 points on January 28 against Portland. His eleven three-pointers against Portland set a Cavaliers franchise record while his 55 points were the second most points scored in Cavaliers history (behind James' 56), and the most points scored in a home game for a Cavaliers player, as well as the most points scored in Quicken Loans Arena history. His 28 first half points also set a new career-high for points in a half. On March 12, 2015, Irving scored a career-high 57 points, including a buzzer-beating three-point shot to send he Cavaliers into overtime, in a 128-125 win over the San Antonio Spurs. It was the most points for a player in a regular-season game against the defending champion since January 14, 1962, when Wilt Chamberlain scored 62 points for the Philadelphia Warriors in a loss against the Celtics. The effort also surpassed the Cavaliers' franchise single-game scoring mark of 56 points, set by LeBron James against the Toronto Raptors on March 3, 2005.
Irving helped the Cavaliers finish the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 53-29 overall record. In his first career playoff game on April 19, Irving scored 30 points in a 113-100 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first-round playoff match-up. Irving went on to help the Cavaliers reach the NBA Finals for just the second time in franchise history despite missing two games in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Atlanta Hawks with a knee injury. After leaving Game 1 of the NBA Finals in the overtime period with a left knee injury, Irving was ruled out for the rest of the series the following day with a fractured left knee cap that required surgery, sidelining him for three to four months. The Cavaliers went on to lose the series to the Warriors in six games.
2015–16 season NBA championship Edit
On August 27, 2015, Irving was ruled unlikely to be ready for opening night of the 2015–16 season due to the left kneecap fracture he suffered in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals. He made his season debut on December 20, scoring 12 points in 17 minutes as a starter against the Philadelphia 76ers. On January 6, he scored a season-high 32 points in a 121–115 win over the Washington Wizards. On February 8, he tied his season high of 32 points and tied his career high of 12 assists in a 120–100 win over the Sacramento Kings. Two days later, he topped his season high mark with 35 points in a 120–111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Cavaliers finished the regular season as the first seed in the Eastern Conference with a 57–25 record. In the first round of the playoffs, the Cavaliers faced the eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons, and in a Game 1 win on April 17, Irving scored a playoff career-high 31 points. He tied that mark with another 31-point game in Game 4 of the series, helping the Cavaliers sweep the Pistons. The Cavaliers went on to breeze through the Eastern Conference playoffs with a 12–2 record to reach the 2016 NBA Finals, where they faced the Golden State Warriors for the second straight year. Irving struggled with his shot in his debut Finals game, going 7-of-22 from the field for 26 points, as the Cavaliers were defeated 104–89 in Game 1. Facing a 3–1 deficit following a Game 4 loss, Irving and LeBron James took over in Game 5, each scoring 41 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 112–97 win, forcing a Game 6. Irving and James became the first teammates to each score 40 points in an NBA Finals game. In Game 7, Irving hit a three-pointer with 53 seconds left that propelled the Cavaliers to a 92–89 lead and an eventual 93–89 win. The Cavaliers won the series 4–3 and became the first team to rally from a 3–1 finals deficit, beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors to end a 52-year major sports championship drought in Cleveland.
International careerEditIrving was a member of the USA basketball team that competed in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. He helped lead Team USA to the gold medal and was subsequently named tournament MVP. He started all nine games in the tournament, averaging 12.1 points and 3.6 assists including 26 points in the gold-medal game. Irving was then named the 2014 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
In 2016, Irving helped Team USA win the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. With the win, he became just the fourth member of Team USA to capture the NBA championship and an Olympic gold medal in the same year, joining LeBron James, Michael Jordan andScottie Pippen
NBA career statisticsEdit
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Irving enjoys reading and keeping a journal. He also likes to sing, dance, and play the baritone sax. His godfather is former NBA player Rod Strickland. His cousin, Isaiah Briscoe, is a highly rated basketball player who plays at the University of Kentucky. Irving and his ex-partner have a daughter together, Azurie Elizabeth Irving, who was born November 23, 2015. Azurie's middle name, Elizabeth, was given to her in honor of Irving's late mother. In early 2016, Irving was in a relationship with singer Kehlani.
In May 2011, Irving made a promise to his father to finish his bachelor's degree at Duke within five years.
In 2012, he took on the role of "Uncle Drew" in a series of Pepsi Max advertisements. He wrote and directed episode 2, in which he starred alongside Bill Russell and Kevin Love, and episode 3, in which he starred alongside Nate Robinson and Maya Moore. In the same year, he appeared on an episode of the Disney XD series Kickin' It. Irving also wrote and directed episode 4 of "Uncle Drew", which was released in November 2015, an episode he starred in alongside Baron Davis, J. B. Smoove and Ray Allen.
Awards and honorsEdit
High School Edit
- 2010 McDonald's All-American
- 2010 Nike Hoop Summit All-American
- 2010 Jordan Brand High School All-American
- 2010 First-team Parade All-American
- 2012 Rising Stars Challenge MVP
- 2012 Rookie of the Year
- 2012 All-Rookie First Team
- Three-time All Star: 2013, 2014, 2015
- 2013 Three-Point Shootout winner
- 2014 All-Star Game MVP
- 2016 NBA Champion
- 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup Gold Medal winner
- 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup MVP
- 2014 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year
- 2016 Summer Olympics Gold Medal winner
- ESPN.com Profile
- Official Facebook Page
- Duke Blue Devils bio
- NBADraft.net profile
- Scout.com Profile
- Rivals.com profile
- MaxPreps.com Profile