Jun 14, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT
Kyrie Irving is just over a week away from being the No. 1 pick of the draft and having unrealistic expectations heaped upon him in Cleveland.
Irving is the Duke point guard who played eight games to start the season before a toe injury sidelined him. Until NCAA Tournament, when he returned and almost instantly was back in charge of the Duke offense.
If it hadn’t been for those extra few games, he would have returned to Duke, he told Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio.
“Those eight games (before the injury) just weren’t enough,” he said. “But playing in the tournament gave me a chance to prove to all the naysayers about my durability.”
So, three games made all the difference? Apparently. Duke beat Hampton and Michigan the first weekend but fell to Arizona (led by soon to be No. 2 pick Derrick Williams) in the Sweet 16. Irving had 28 points in the loss on 9-of-15 shooting in that loss. Irving said he was about 70 percent for those tournament games but is 100 percent now.
Of course, the only team that got to see him at 100 percent this summer was Cleveland, the team with the No. 1 pick is the only one Irving has worked out for.
And apparently the only reason they got to see him was three more games in March.
- Three things about Game 2: Tony Parker is that good but Randolph, Grizzlies figuring it out 0
- Spurs need overtime in Game 2 to beat Grizzlies, take a 2-0 series lead 0
- Cavaliers bask in another lottery victory 7
- For second time in three years Cavaliers win NBA draft lottery 34
- PBT Extra: Eastern Conference Finals preview time 3
- Report: Dwight Howard will consider multiple teams in free agency, is said to be most intrigued by the Rockets (121)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (88)
- Alonzo Mourning says Scottie Pippen says LeBron would “kick Jordan’s ass” (75)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (67)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (64)
- Sharks pull even with Kings
- PBT: Cavs win NBA draft lottery, will pick No. 1
- PBT: Nick Gilbert again Cavs' good luck charm
- PBT: Grizzlies figuring out Spurs after Game 2
- PBT: Spurs survive Grizzlies' late run, win in OT
- PHT: Bruins rally in third, put Rangers in 3-0 hole
- PFT: Jim Harbaugh to drive Indy 500 pace car
- Play Video: Metta World Peace the weatherman
- Play Video: Eastern Conference finals preview
- Play Video: Heat gearing for another physical battle
- Play Video: Phil Jackson compares MJ and Kobe
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars