Collin Sexton, the Cavs’ top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, will be wearing No. 2 next season. That also happens to be Kyrie Irving’s old number, and it’s sparked some debate on whether or not that’s kosher.
Irving, however, is good with it.
“Go ahead, do what you do. He wanted to wear the number, let him wear the number. It doesn’t matter,” Irving said on Monday, per ESPN. “The story is probably going to be the number. But I’m more excited about who [Sexton] is as a player in the league,” Irving said. “The number thing is like, just chalk that up to the game. It’s cool. It’s no hard feelings from my end. He just has to start at the chopping block just like everyone else did. So I’m excited for him.”
Irving also did talk about what he did while wearing No. 2 in Cleveland and what it meant.
“The history, it’s already captured, man,” Irving said. “I was on one of the best teams in NBA history, in my opinion, just accomplishing something that was that much bigger than ourselves,” Irving said in reference to the 2016 NBA champion Cavaliers. “A feat that’s — we’re one of no other teams. We’re one of one, in history [to rebound from a 3-1 NBA Finals deficit]. So for me, I think the biggest thing is giving that jersey [he wore in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals] to my dad. If that’s where the No. 2 legacy ends, then cool. Then I’m starting up a new one. No pressure for anyone else.”
Fan discomfort with someone wearing Irving’s No. 2 is understandable and it’s entirely possible that it will be retired one day down the road. But No. 2 is also the number Sexton wore in college and he has his own chance to make it his own now. Time to talk about something else.