Everyone finds motivation in different places. For Kyrie Irving, he found it in J.K. Simmons screaming at Miles Teller.
The Boston Celtics point guard revealed on Gino Auriemma’s podcast that he loves the 2015 film, which is about a drummer’s relationship with a very, very harsh teacher.
In fact, Irving reveals that the movie Whiplash became a source of inspiration for him when he first watched it while recovering from his 2015 knee injury.
“I first saw it in Kobe’s “Muse” documentary that he released,” Irving said. “He was talking about ‘Whiplash,’ and I was like, ‘Man, I got to catch that movie.’ I had no idea what it was going into it. I ended up ordering it and watching it, and watched it over and over, and watched it probably about six times.”
Irving said he was blown away by the movie, which provided a model for the work ethic he needed to rehab from injury and find success in the league.
“I just, I was amazed,” he continued. “It was just that twitch. It was just that extra level that I knew I had to push through despite what I was going through. The perfection of the craft in anything that people are doing in life, it takes a sh– ton of sacrifice and being away from things that normal people would want to do.”
“You have to sacrifice relationships, you have to sacrifice a ton of your focus. You have to develop your mental aptitude, and I started figuring out that the little things matter in the grand scheme of things and in putting on a huge performance,” Irving explained. “No one gets to see the things you do behind closed doors. The sleepless nights and staying up late and bleeding, basically bleeding for your craft because you want to be that great. I took all that from that movie, and I started loving it more and more.”
That’s a very specific reaction to the film, and one he’s clearly taken to heart. Irving finds inspiration in odd places, but one consistent place he’s taking it from here is Kobe Bryant. If Kobe says to catch a film, safe to say Kyrie’s gonna drop a few bucks to rent it on Amazon.