Dime Q&A: Kyrie Irving On Tristan Thompson’s Free Throws, Recruiting Andrew Bynum & More

By: 10.02.13
Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Dime: Tristan [Thompson]. We were watching the shooting hand change, and looked at some video from last season because he only attempted something like 10 shots outside of 15 feet. Did you notice that or did you talk to him about the shooting-hand change?
KI: We were in — I can’t remember exactly where — but Coach [Byron] Scott was like ‘let’s practice shooting right-handed.’ We compared it. We compared his free throws, and Tristan was just joking around. But his right hand looks way better than his left. We all can say Tristan’s shot was disgusting from the free throw line. It was disgusting to watch, and I’ll tell him that too. But it went in 58 percent of the time [Eds Note: 60.8 percent], and now he changed it and shot 78 percent in the FIBA World Games playing for Canada. That’s a drastic change. For him to make that sacrifice for our team, we commend him and it’s going to make our team that much better.

Dime: It’s tough to do that mid-career [switch shooting hands] —
KI: — But we did the calculations. Every NBA game last year, was decided by 2.6 points. If Tristan goes from 58 percent to 78 percent, he gets us 1.25 points, I think.

Dime:Wow. So you guys really broke it down?
KI: Oh yeah, we broke it down. It’s gonna be fun to see.

Dime: How did the Uncle Drew thing come about and Kevin [Love]’s involvement?
KI: It’s a joint partnership between me and Pepsi Max. I came up with the idea, wrote it and directed it.

Dime: How did you come up with the idea? Did you see an old man come on and kill it on the playground?
KI: Nah Nah. It was a guy who went to a skate park, and he went there dressed up as an old guy. He started doing all these tricks and all these skaters were just looking at him like ‘what the hell.’ He stayed there for about an hour and he was doing all these tricks, and not only like board tricks, but flipping the skateboard up and catching it and then landing on it. Just straight up, not even getting on the pipes or anything. Just doing tricks. Then he packed his skateboard in a suitcase and — with his he had a cane — just walked off.

Dime: Did the guys know when you were filming? They must’ve known?
KI: The second time [they knew]. The third time, which we just filmed, obviously everybody’s gonna know Uncle Drew, but now it’s just about putting the team together and kind of just surprising everyone.

Dime: So you got a third guy coming, but you can’t say?
KI: Yeah, I’m not gonna say. It’s gonna be fun.

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Kyrie Irving and kids

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

Kyrie Irving (photo. Enrique Espinoza)

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