Today, Cleveland Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving turns 22-years-old.
In three years in the NBA, Irving has budded into a young star in the league. Since the Cavs picked him number one overall out of Duke University in the 2011 NBA draft, Irving has quickly become a face of the NBA on and off the court.
Irving has garnered this popularity through his crafty ball skills and likeable personality. Traits he has displayed on the hardwood courts in the NBA and neighborhood parks in his Pepsi Max “Uncle Drew” commercials.
He has even been able to do the unthinkable. In his first year as a Cavalier, the 19-year-old was able to make the city of Cleveland forget about the turmoil that happened in the summer of 2010. Cleveland fans have now crowned their new king – a humble and flashy ball handler out of Australia, who goes by “Uncle Drew” and “Mr. Fourth Quarter.”
To celebrate Irving’s birthday, it is only right to look back on plays where he made victims out of the opponents who tried to guard him.
A month ago when the Cavaliers took on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Irving made another opponent fall to the ground with his crossover. This time it was guard Thabo Sefolosha who felt the aftershock of Irving’s quick handles. Irving was able to pull up and hit the jumper as Sefolosha fell to the ground.
In December, Irving was able to send Knicks’ point guard Pablo Prigioni spinning in circles. Irving with the help of forward Tristan Thompson made Prigioni complete a full circle before tracking down the ball and Irving. The end result was Irving draining an open three-pointer.
In this highlight, two of the shining new point guards in the league went head to head. Irving was able to get the better of Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard Damian Lillard. After driving into the lane, Irving was able to use multiple spin moves to make Lillard jump in the wrong direction. Once again the end result was an easy basket for Irving.
The next crossover by Irving has been watched and laughed at by millions. It is Irving’s famous crossover on Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Brandon Knight in the Rising Stars Challenge game in 2013. The play ended with Knight on the ground, Irving silencing the crowd after draining a shot, and the announcers going crazy. Within minutes the play went viral on social media. This play is worth two videos displaying Irving’s skills.
After watching these videos, it is clear Irving is one of the best point guards and overall talents in the league. It is scary to think Irving has three years under his belt and is only 22. Irving is set to explode into the conversation of NBA’s best within the next couple seasons.