Had Kyrie Irving considered the scope of this stage he starred on, his All-Star weekend coming-out party may have never come to pass.
The eyeballs come from all angles and in record numbers in the NBA these days — people in 215 countries watching more than 140 hours of programming in 47 languages on televisions, tablets, laptops and the like. Irving, this 20-year-old prodigy who joined incredible company in becoming the seventh player to be an All-Star before his 21st birthday, is now a major player in this game that goes way beyond the game.
The business of basketball is booming these days, and the one-man brands of players like Irving are built in times like these. The Cleveland Cavaliers' point guard thrilled the masses in the Rising Stars game on Friday, won the three-point contest on Saturday and was ready to enjoy his newfound elite status in his first All-Star game on Sunday with 15 points on six of 11 shooting. All the while, the counterintuitive notion that the Miami Heat's LeBron James could return to Cleveland as a free agent in the summer of 2014 continued to grow, in large part, because Irving's talent is tantalizing enough to make the Akron, Ohio, native seriously consider going home again.
"He's unbelievable," James said about Irving's coronation as the new king of Cleveland. "He'll be (among) the top two, top three best point guards in the league. He's headed there already.
"He's doing some great things right now. They should be excited about having him in Cleveland."
Kyrie Irving takes LeBron James' role as Cleveland king
USA Today | Feb 18