Kyrie Irving has the ability to become one of the greatest Cavaliers of all time. Dime Magazine got a chance to sit down with Irving just before training camp started last week, and the awesome interview (seriously, read the whole damn thing) touched on a variety of topics, from the Cavaliers offseason, Irving's workouts that he led with various other Cavaliers, and even Tristan Thompson's hand switch. Here were a couple exchanges I found interesting.
I knew a week before we drafted Anthony. But it was really weird the way everything happened. I talked to Jarrett in Miami during the Finals, and he was like ‘Cleveland called my agent,’ and I was like ‘wow, that would be great if you came to our team.’ So then we talked and it just happened. We [the Cavs] made it happen in the summer. And then Andrew, I talked to a week before the deal was made. I had Chris Grant give me his [Bynum’s] number and I just gave him the sales pitch. I told him that this would be the best place for him in terms of medical attention and then just the best place for him to be who he wants to be, a great post guy, our big guy.
So Kyrie Irving is out here recruiting free agents to come to Cleveland? He went out of his way to ask Chris Grant for Bynum's number, then called him, then sold him on Cleveland, and Bynum ultimately chose to come here? Certain former Cavalier stars couldn't be bothered to do this. And Irving knew a week before the draft the Cavs were going to go with Bennett? All the reporting leading up to this interview said Grant didn't make his final decision until just a few hours before the Cavaliers went on the clock. Crazy.
One other thing worth noting about this answer: when the Cavs selected Dion Waiters last summer, media went out of their way to say that Irving had not been consulted and did not know about the pick beforehand. Either that reporting was wrong, or something has changed within the Cavaliers organization and they are starting to open up to their all-star point guard about their plans a little bit. I think this is a welcome development. You don't have to give him special rules, like the Cavaliers once did with LeBron James, but you do want him to feel like his opinion matters moving forward.
When asked about the Cavaliers recent injury issues, and if it led to a change in how he prepared for the season:
That’s to say the least. Very weird and freakish. In terms of my shape, I’m just putting armor on. Everybody knows I have the confidence and the ability to do something great, but now I have to kind of perfect my craft and do the things off-the-court to stay on the court. That’s what I did this summer. I changed my body completely. I came into my second year thinking I was changing my body, and I was no where near the weight and shape I wanted to be in for the season
Frankly, I think the interview was really well done, and it is quite lengthy and hard to find the absolute best stuff. I give major credit to the guys asking the questions for bringing up some actual statistics and seeing what Irving thought of them. I give Irving credit for how he handled said questions. The Tristan Thompson stuff is great. Go over there and read it, and come back here and tell me what your favorite part was.