Cleveland Cavalier point guard Kyrie Irving is making quite a splash in Las Vegas as a member of USA Basketball’s Select Team.
The squad of younger players is on hand to allow the U.S. Olympic basketball team to practice against some tough competition before heading off to London to defend its Gold Medal at the Summer Olympics in August.
In a scrimmage last week, the Select Team won, 14-11, with Irving scoring 11 of his team’s 14 points. Read that again: Irving scored almost all of his side’s points against a team that includes Kevin Durant, LeBron James and a host of other NBA stars.
According to Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! Sports, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo may be wishing he had included Irving on this year’s Olympic team.
"Kyrie Irving is a player that literally you could move from one court to the other court," Colangelo told the site, referring to shooting drills that have the Olympic team and the select team practicing on different courts.
"He's that far advanced in terms of his talent, it appears. He's made a good showing here. He had a terrific rookie season in the NBA and certainly he will be one of the leading candidates going forward."
Irving may have been passed over for the Olympic team this year, but there is little chance of that happening in 2016. And while that is a nice honor for Irving, it makes us a little nervous. The Cavs really don’t get anything from having their players participate with their national teams, but they do run the risk of having someone get injured (see Anderson Varajeo, Brazil).
But that is a discussion for another day. For now, the experience that Irving is gaining in a Las Vegas gym should only help him next season with the Cavs.
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