Boston Celtics point guard, Kyrie Irving will be one of the hottest NBA free agents to hit the market beginning on June 30 at 6PM.
Recently, Irving has been utilizing social media to tell his story of his roots.
Exhibit A: Talking to the crossing guard who made sure he got across the street safely at Roosevelt Middle School in West Orange, NJ and showing the shortcut he took to get to the school by walking.
If you’re keeping score at home: West Orange, NJ is a stones throw from the skyline of New York City. In fact, you can see the town’s skyline at the Eagle Rock Reservation.
Irving grew up liking the then-New Jersey Nets when they ran the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the days of Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson.
Irving was a fan of Kidd.
“Watching him play was a pleasure,” Irving told me of Kidd when he was hired as head coach of Brooklyn back in 2013.
“His IQ. Just watching the way he plays the game. Not many people have that niche and that feel for the game.”
As a kid, Irving watched that Nets team make back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. Ironically, the Nets were coached by Byron Scot who lived in Livingston, NJ; a town next door to West Orange.
Scott would later coach Irving earlier in his career with the Cavaliers.
Irving’s dad, Drederick is a native New Yorker from the borough of the Bronx; as is Irving’s godfather, Rod Strickland.
Irving’s ties to Boston run deep even before he arrived in the Bean. His father played basketball at Boston University. The eldest Irving had a tryout with the Celtics before opting to play overseas basketball.
One of the biggest values that his father taught him was the importance of keeping your word. “Keeping your word, for me, is the only thing I have,” Drederick Irvingtold Rolling Out’s Derrel Johnson.
“My kids, we have this saying that “I give my kids my word as a man,” and that’s the only thing I have is my word.I think it’s important to deliver when kids are promised things. It’s … critical to deliver, because if you don’t, there could be some repercussions that parents are creating that they don’t even know about.”
Kyrie Irving’s godfather, Rod Strickland grew up with Drederick Irving in the Mitchell Houses in New York City’s South Bronx.
Strickland tells Scoop B Radio that he first saw Irving dribble a basketball in the backyard and used to tell Drederick Irving, “He’s going to make you some money.”
The first time Strickland saw Irving play in an actual game was when he was in high school when ironically he played in LeBron James’ camp, where Irving put on an absolute show.
“My first eyes on Kyrie as a hooper, I saw him play in Springfield, Massachusetts,” Strickland told me last summer on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“He made passes, but he was such a gifted scorer and ball-handler that he could put the ball in the hole. But I knew he was special right away. There are some things that everybody’s not doing, so when I see somebody play with both hands, the way he was playing with it in high school, that’s special. You don’t see that a lot.”
As for current day Kyrie, he’s got a decision to make and we’re all checking out his intellectual property that is currently literring the internet.
Like visiting family at a basketball game.
And detailing his love interest.