With All-Star Weekend approaching and the starters already named, the time has finally come to separate the subs from the snubs. Being a great player on a bad team can be frustrating, but Kyrie Irving doesn’t let it hold him back. This season he’s exceeded expectations yet again, and he’s raising the bar for himself game by game. Irving is rising to NBA stardom faster than anyone expected, just one of the many reasons he will make his first All-Star team this season.
Although he hasn’t had enough time to earn a position as a starter just yet, there’s no way the NBA coaches will leave Irving off of the Eastern Conference All-Star team this year. The Cavaliers are currently 10-32, and only two games ahead of Washington for the worst record in the East, but Irving has emerged as one of the premier guards in the entire league. The Cavs’ record isn’t at all an accurate reflection of how great of a player he actually is. After the Clippers’ Chris Paul, one could argue that he’s been playing the league’s best basketball at the point guard position this season. He’s averaging 23.1 points per game, which is more than any other point guard in the NBA. And while guys such as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook and Brooklyn’s Deron Williams play with other great players who make things easier on them, Irving doesn’t have that in Cleveland. Night in and night out, opponents know he’s the one guy they have to game plan for and they still can’t stop him.
It’s not often that players rise to stardom as quickly as Irving has been able to. While he’s turned into one of top players in the game on the court, he’s also becoming a wildly popular figure off the court as well. Between challenging Kobe Bryant to a game of one-on-one in the offseason during Olympic tryouts and entertaining fans with his “Uncle Drew” alter ego, Irving has become one of the NBA’s brightest young stars. Filling the void left by LeBron James in Cleveland was no easy task for Kyrie, but in just a year and a half, he’s already been able to do that because his skills and the style with which they’re translated on the court. Cavs fans are extremely optimistic about the future of the franchise, and it has everything to do with the potential of their charismatic young superstar.
All-Star weekend is a celebration of the game’s biggest and best names. It’s a showcase of the NBA’s best players and personalities, and leaving Irving out would be nearly criminal. He gave a taste of what he has to contribute to the festivities last year in Orlando both on and off the court. First, he dazzled fans with his hot shooting in the Rising Stars challenge, scoring 34 points hitting 8-of-8 from long range and winning MVP of the game. And he wasn’t scared to go out and show his face either, making a surprise appearance at the Florida Mall’s House of Hoops to meet with fans.
While it would be nice to see him dominate the Rising Stars Challenge again this year, it’s safe to say he’s outgrown that stage. Irving has earned the chance to show the world he’s on par with the NBA’s best players. While fans will be excited to see familiar faces such as James, Bryant and Kevin Durant Irving will bring an element of surprise to the All-Star game and show exactly why he’s blossoming into one of the NBA’s brightest stars.
Should Irving make it out of the East?
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