“Everybody asks me if this is my year to be a leader … I haven’t been so far though, not at all,” Irving said in an interview with Real GM. “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.
“I’m more than excited with our new veterans. I’m really excited just from the standpoint of how the locker room is going to go and how to really be a professional. I’m not saying that the veterans that we had weren’t professionals themselves, but we didn’t have enough. Given the right and wrong things to do in the league, I’ve had to learn on my own and that’s what some of us been doing.
“Now, we have guys who’ve been in the league for years, guys who’ve won championships and have had to give a piece of their game for the greater good of the team. It’s something I admire and something I’m going to learn from.”
Possessing the ability to manicure box scores and highlight reels by the truck loads, the Cavaliers, and Cleveland, had asked the now-22-year old to be more than a basketball player. As the team was struggling, all focus pointed in the direction of a kid who didn’t appear to have the ability to take a team, put them on his shoulders, and carry them through turbulent times. Good news was that despite all of the losing and poor body language, Irving re-upped with Cleveland to the tune of five years and $90 million.
Now, with a litany of veterans and a head coach who appears ready to run his entire offense through the wildly talented point guard, it appears Irving is finally more comfortable in his role of 1A (or even 1B) behind LeBron James as the team looks to once again rule the Eastern Conference. Admission is the first step.