Kyrie Irving isn't just an All-Star, he has now joined an elite circle exclusive only to hall of fame players, too.
Irving was named to his first All-Star team on Thursday, named as a reserve by the league's coaches in just his second season. He becomes the sixth-youngest player ever named to an All-Star team (20 years, 331 days) and one of seven to make it before turning 21.
The list to make an All-Star team prior to 21 is full of players either in the hall of fame already or certainly headed there when they finally retire: Kobe Bryant (19 years, 169 days), LeBron James (20 years, 52 days), Magic Johnson (20 years, 173 days), Kevin Garnett (20 years, 266 days), Isiah Thomas (20 years, 276 days) and Shaquille O'Neal (20 years, 353 days).
And now Irving.
"It's one of the best days of my life," Irving said Thursday night, after also winning the pro sports athlete of the year award at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. "It's a big deal for me and it's a big deal for the city of Cleveland to be picked as an All-Star for the first time. I'm turning 21 on March 23 and to be with those guys, to see those names on TNT, that was truly a blessing."
Immediately after learning of his spot, Irving began calling his father and his girlfriend. He kept his conversation with his father private, but admitted "it was an emotional moment."
He is the 15th All-Star in Cavs history, joining a list that includes James, Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Austin Carr and Campy Russell.
Cavs coach Byron Scott gave Irving a big hug when he arrived at the awards show and has said for the past week Irving was deserving of a spot on the team. Scott understands the enormity of making it, considering his age and company, but he's not sure Irving understands yet.
Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving sixth-youngest player to be named to All-Star team
Akron Beacon Journal | Jan 25