HoopsHype Kyrie Irving rumors

September 9, 2014 Updates

The more significant force driving him: Irving is still waiting for his first taste of the NBA playoffs -- his first taste, frankly, of an NBA game that really means something -- so ?he sees this tournament he's in now as quite a big deal. "This is by far the biggest stage I've played on in my career," Irving said. And ... "Nothing is guaranteed," Irving acknowledged. "If we lose, there's a lot at stake?." ESPN.com

"There's no one main leader on this team," Irving counters, convinced that the leadership-by-committee approach is working. "I just try to bring the confidence that I have in myself to this team that we're the best in the world," he adds. "We have respect for all the other countries and what they do, but ... we have the best players in the world playing for our team [and now] we just have to go out and prove it every night. Forget the scary fall. Irving has been describing this summer stint with the national team as "very emotional" even before the threat of an injury surfaced. ESPN.com

September 6, 2014 Updates

“I really wanted the chance to play for the gold medal,” Irving said in an interview with The News & Observer in Bilbao, Spain, “to represent my country and have this experience.” Plumlee, on the other hand, was content just for playing time with the Nets. A rookie during the 2013-2014 season, Plumlee, 6 feet 11 inches and 235 pounds, started 22 games thanks to an early season-ending injury to Nets’ starting center and 2013 All-Star Brook Lopez. “My biggest thing was to go out there and gain the coaches’ trust,” Plumlee told The N&O. “Just be aggressive and show that I could contribute.” Raleigh News & Observer

Plumlee, who played four seasons under Kryzyewski at Duke, said chemistry with his former coach has helped him make an easier adjustment to the international game. Though a different experience than playing at Cameron Indoor, Plumlee said his time with Kryzyewski in Spain has, in a way, been Déjà-vu. “There’s so much similarity and familiarity with knowing what Coach wants and what he’s looking for,” Plumlee said. “Just hearing him in meetings and breaking down film, it’s fun to be a part of again because he’s the best at that. It’s great to be back playing for him and I’m really enjoying it.” Raleigh News & Observer

September 5, 2014 Updates

So when Irving said he’s fine Friday was to feel the collective sigh of relief from all involved, especially considering what’s on the line as of this weekend. Mexico awaits in the Round of 16 Saturday, with single-elimination finally beginning and the gold medal defense still on track so long as Irving is taking part. “I’m all right,” Irving told reporters inside the same Palau Sant Jordi venue where the American Dream Team made hoops history during the 1992 Olympics. “I mean it was a little bit of a concern when it happened. I was a little bit worried. It was a tough fall on my back, just a light bruise that I took in the fourth quarter. But it’s part of the game … I’m all right. I’m a little bit more sore than I thought I would be, but like I said it was just a tough fall that I took yesterday and I’m just glad I’m OK.” For The Win

September 4, 2014 Updates
August 25, 2014 Updates

“Obviously being a leader is not a perfect job, it’s very lonely, everybody else just looks in from the outside and criticizes you and that’s part of the business and I get it. It’s more just holding myself to a higher standard every single day and getting used to that. “Three years in Cleveland, a lot of things going on speculation all that stuff, I had to deal with that all on my own, I didn’t really have help from anybody so I was just figuring that out,” he added. “Like I said leadership is a daily job and it’s an ongoing learning process and I’m just getting used to it. I’m not saying I’m a perfect leader but I’m learning how to become one.” For The Win

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup. But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade ‎off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland. "We'll see as thing goes on," Krzyzewski said after Monday's two-hour practice. "We might alternate 'em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes." ESPN.com

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. "I asked him today and he said, 'I feel great,' " Krzyzewski said of Rose. "He did everything. He's full go. I think there's a part of him that's like: 'Quit asking me how I feel. I'm good.' So I'm not going to ask him any more." ESPN.com

August 23, 2014 Updates

Just a few hours after a 112-86 victory over Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden on Friday and six days before it needed to, the U.S. National Team finalized its roster for the FIBA World Cup in Spain. In a bit of a surprise, two players – DeMar DeRozan and Andre Drummond – who didn’t play on Friday made the final roster. Drummond is the fourth center on the team, while DeRozan made the cut over Chandler Parsons and Kyle Korver. He offers more playmaking and explosive scoring ability than the other two. In addition to Korver and Parsons, Damian Lillard and Gordon Hayward did not make the 12-man roster. NBA.com

USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced Friday night the 12 players who will represent the United States at the 2014 FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Basketball World Cup that is being held Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain. The player announcement followed the USA's112-86 exhibition victory over Puerto Rico Friday evening at Madison Square Garden. Named as members of the official 2014 USA Basketball World Cup Team were: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Rudy Gay (Sacramento Kings); James Harden (Houston Rockets); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors). USA Basketball

“Since taking over the USA Basketball Men’s National Team program in 2005, this was without doubt the most difficult selection process we’ve gone through,” said Colangelo. “I can’t stress enough the outstanding effort and commitment that has been given by each finalist. I also want to make it clear that this is not just about talent – each player is incredibly talented and each player offered us unique skills. In the end it was about assembling the best team, selecting guys who we felt would be able to best play the kind of style we envision this team playing.” “The first thing is we are very pleased with the overall effort of every player who was a part of the process,” said Mike Krzyzewski, USA head coach and Duke University’s Naismith Hall of Fame mentor. “To select twelve was difficult, because our pool is so good. As we go forward, we not only go forward as twelve, we go forward as a pool for USA Basketball. As a staff we want to thank the players who are not going forward. “I’m excited about the 12 players selected and feel we have excellent versatility and the makings of a really good defensive team.” USA Basketball

August 19, 2014 Updates
August 18, 2014 Updates

Irving is an unquestioned talent, and he admits his ongoing lessons about turning personal accolades into team success – knowing how desperately he needed this roster upgrade, in talent and professionalism. “Everybody asks me if this is my year to be a leader … I haven’t been so far though, not at all,” Irving said. “I’ve just been a kid trying to figure it out. There’s no perfect way to be a leader, and coming in as a 19-year-old kid and having everything bearing on your shoulders, there are a lot of ups and downs. Now it’s about being the best every single day and not being afraid. RealGM

Across the NBA, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant heaved praise on Irving at such a young age, as such a genius scorer and wizard of the ball, and only he understands the truth. He knows he’s been no leader, no influence for players, but just a one-and-done collegiate athlete given apprentice status and ownership of an underdeveloped program. “I haven’t been a leader – not at all,” Irving told RealGM. RealGM

August 5, 2014 Updates

Selected USA World Cup Team finalists were DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Curry; Davis; DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Durant; Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Harden; Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); Plumlee; Rose; and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors). USA Basketball

July 31, 2014 Updates

I tracked down Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and John Wall — every prospective national team point guard except Derrick Rose — and asked them to describe Lillard's game. Below is what they had to say about the Trail Blazers' All-Star: Kyrie Irving: "He's a tremendous shooter. And then (he has) finishing ability as well. He's so crafty around the rim. I don't think he gets a lot of credit for that. People think he's an over-the-rim finisher, but he has both. He has the ability to take off and finish below the rim as well. So he's a versatile player, versatile point guard, and he fits the mold of where our point guard position is going, which is having that scoring ability and being able to run the team, as well. Oregonian

July 29, 2014 Updates

He signed an almost max contract extension (it’s still a lot of cash). LeBron James decides to return to Cavaliers and Kevin Love may join the two of them. Now Irving is in Las Vegas where it looks as if he will be a key part of Team USA’s plans heading into the World Cup in Spain starting in late August. It’s good to be Kyrie Irving right now. Of course, that LeBron thing pretty much tops it all. “At first you were speechless because you couldn’t believe it,” Irving said of finding out LeBron was indeed coming to Cleveland. “I’ve been watching LeBron for a while now and it’s nice to be going to run along side of him and be his point guard.” NBCSports.com

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