Irving in 2016
|No. 11 – Boston Celtics|
March 23, 1992 |
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||193 lb (88 kg)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Kyrie Andrew Irving (//, born March 23, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before entering the NBA. In his first season with Cleveland, he was honored as the NBA Rookie of the Year. He was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2014, and was selected to the All-NBA Third Team in 2015. A four-time NBA All-Star, he won an NBA Championship with the Cavaliers in 2016. During the following off-season, Irving requested the Cavaliers to trade him, which resulted in him being sent to the Celtics in a package deal that involved Isaiah Thomas. Irving 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.
- 1 Early life
- 2 High school career
- 3 College career
- 4 Professional career
- 4.1 Cleveland Cavaliers (2011–2017)
- 4.2 Boston Celtics (2017–present)
- 5 National team career
- 6 NBA career statistics
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Awards and honors
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Irving was born on March 23, 1992 in Melbourne, Australia, to American parents. He is the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, and the stepson 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 of Kew 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 father'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 result of his father's connection to Boston University, Irving spent a lot of time in Boston, including at BU's basketball skills camp. In fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff. As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
High school career
Irving played for Montclair Kimberley Academy in 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 second 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 days 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 Challenge in 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.
On January 19, 2010, Irving was selected to the 2010 Junior National Select Team. The team played at the 2010 Nike Hoop Summit at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, on April 10. He was also selected to play in the 2010 McDonald's All-American Game and the 2010 Jordan 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.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|West Orange, New Jersey||Montclair Kimberley Academy / St. Patrick||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Oct 22, 2009|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: ESPN grade: 97|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 2 (PG); 8 (school) Rivals: 2 (PG); 4 (national)|
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.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2011–2017)
2011–12 season: Rookie of the Year
Irving announced that he would forgo his final three seasons of eligibility and enter the 2011 NBA draft, where he was selected with the first overall 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.
2012–13 season: First All-Star season
In a Las Vegas-based Cavaliers practice on July 14, 2012, Irving sustained a broken right hand after reportedly slapping it against a padded wall after committing a turnover. "I am a little disappointed", remarked Irving. "I have to be more responsible about my health. It was just crazy. It happened so fast." It was announced that Irving would require surgery on July 18 to repair the hand.
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
2013–14 season: All-Star Game MVP
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.
Irving averaged 20.8 points, 6.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals on the season.
2014–15 season: Big Three formation and first NBA Finals
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. Despite a shaky start to the season in which they fell to a record of 5-7 after a loss on November 22 to Toronto, the Cavaliers went on an eight-game winning streak with the help of Irving as he averaged 19.3 points per game over the streak, including a 37-point game against the New York Knicks on December 4. Following their loss on December 11 to Oklahoma City which ended their streak, the Cavaliers went on to win just five more games in December as they finished 2014 with a record of 18-14. All three of the newly dubbed "Big Three" missed time during December, contributing to team's inconsistency and mediocre play despite the high expectations. The Cavaliers began their 2015 schedule on January 2 as they snapped a three-game losing streak with the help of Irving. He scored 23 points, and with Love's 27, the Cavaliers defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 91-87. However, in a season-low game for Irving the following game against Dallas on January 4, he scored just six points before leaving the game in the third quarter with lower back tightness, as the Cavaliers went on to lose, 90-109. He subsequently missed the next game against Philadelphia before returning to action on January 7 against Houston to tie a then first half career high of 23 points. He finished the game with a then season-high 38 points but could not lead the Cavaliers to a win as they lost 93-105, the team's seventh loss in nine games.
After another losing streak spanning six games between January 4 and January 13 dropped them to a record of 19-20, Irving and James led the Cavaliers on a 12-game winning streak to bring them back into contention. During the streak, Irving averaged 24.5 points per game, including scoring a 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 the 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 win 34 of their final 43 games to 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 against the Golden State Warriors in the overtime period with a knee injury, Irving was ruled out for the rest of the series the following day with a fractured left kneecap 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: First NBA Championship
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 in the game 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.
2016–17 season: Third NBA Finals
On October 25, 2016, after receiving his first championship ring prior to the season opener, Irving scored a game-high 29 points in a 117–88 win over the New York Knicks. Three days later, he scored 26 points and hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 44.3 seconds remaining to lift the Cavaliers to a 94–91 win over the Toronto Raptors. On November 27, he scored 19 of his then season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 112–108 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. On December 5, he had a career-high 10th straight game with at least 20 points, finishing with 24 points in a 116–112 win over the Toronto Raptors. On December 21, he had 31 points and a career-high 13 assists in a 113–102 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. On January 23, 2017, he scored 35 of his season-high 49 points in the second half of the Cavaliers' 124–122 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans—their fifth loss in seven games. On February 1, he set a new career high with 14 assists in a 125–97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. On March 3, he had a 43-point effort in a 135–130 win over the Atlanta Hawks. In the game, the Cavaliers set the NBA regular-season record with 25 three-pointers. On March 19, he had a 46-point effort in a 125–120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. On April 9, he had a 45-point effort in a 126–125 overtime loss to Atlanta.
In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Irving scored a playoff career-high 42 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 112–99 win, taking a 3–1 lead in the series. With 24 points in Game 5 of the series, Irving helped the Cavaliers defeat the Celtics 135–102 to claim their third straight Eastern Conference title and a return trip to the NBA Finals. After going down 3–0 in the 2017 NBA Finals, Irving scored 40 points in Game 4 to help Cleveland extend the series and avoid a sweep with a 137–116 win over the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers went on to lose to the Warriors in Game 5, thus losing the series 4–1.
Boston Celtics (2017–present)
On August 22, 2017, Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick. Eight days later, the Celtics agreed to send the Cavaliers a 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat to complete the trade, as compensation for Thomas' failed physical.
National team career
In 2012, Irving was in contention for a position on the Australian team for the 2012 Olympics. However, he elected not to represent his nation of birth, instead focusing on selection for the United States national team for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Irving was a member of the United States national 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. He 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, and Scottie Pippen.
NBA career statistics
|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|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Irving won an NBA championship|
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, was a highly rated basketball player who played at the University of Kentucky before declaring for the 2017 NBA draft. Irving and his ex-partner have a daughter together, Azurie Elizabeth Irving, who was born on 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 March 2016, Canadian musician PartyNextDoor posted a picture of Kehlani's hand on Instagram insinuating that they were together. This caused a media controversy across Twitter, in which abuse was tweeted against Kehlani in hundreds of thousands of posts. Irving tweeted that they had broken up before the incident, but this seemed to go unnoticed. Kehlani took to social media to explain that she had not cheated on Irving.
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. In 2015, he launched his PSD underwear collection.
In February 2017, Irving stated, contrary to the fact that the Earth is round, that he believes that the Earth is flat while being interviewed for a podcast, stating "This is not even a conspiracy theory...The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat." In a later interview, he was less forceful in advancing his flat Earth belief, encouraging people to "do their own research" into the topic. Irving also stated that he believes in further conspiracy theories, such as the idea that John F. Kennedy was killed by the Federal Reserve, and that the C.I.A. tried to kill Bob Marley.
Awards and honors
- 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
- 4× All Star: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
- 2013 Three-Point Shootout winner
- 2014 All-Star Game MVP
- 2016 NBA Champion
- 2016 Best Team ESPY Award (with the Cavaliers)
- Three-storey commemorative banner in downtown Cleveland
- 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
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