Kyrie Irving spoke about the evolution of his crossover move this past weekend at his second annual ProCamps Basketball Camp in Cleveland.
I was on location with Mr. Irving, and wrote about who he said inspired his deadly cross for SLAMonline. Below is an excerpt:
Kyrie Irving’s crossover left defenders all over the League standing still this past season. His patented move hasn’t been glossed with a handle like the Utep Two-Step yet, but maybe it should be.
While stopping short of putting a name on his unique version of the killer-cross this weekend, the reigning Rookie of the Year did speak on how it was developed.
“When I was younger, I always wanted the AI Crossover,” Irving said from his ProCamp in Cleveland. “In elementary school that was the only move I had, was the Allen Iverson crossover. I probably practiced that crossover a million times.”
From there, the Cavaliers point guard says he reached back into the NBA archives for elements of two other crossovers in the construction of his own.
“I had the Timmy Hardaway too,” Irving told SLAM. “I practiced the Tim Hardaway move over a million times as well, along with the KJ (Kevin Johnson), which was just go by everybody with quickness. Over time, I combined all of them together, and made it into my own move.
“It was fun learning from those guys, and watching CP3 too, all of them,” Kyrie added. “I grew up on all of them, and I’ve incorporated different things from all their games into mine.”
I always liked how Tim Hardaway's famous cross was celebrated by the Utep Two-Step handle myself. Maybe I'm just lame like that. But maybe, Kyrie Irving's crossover should be celebrated in similar fashion.
Since first mentioning this in my SLAM article, I've since gathered a number of suggestions to that end. I'll be selecting ten of those possible names, and posting them tomorrow as a heads up. Maybe we end up deciding on a name that we'll all unanimously refer to his crossover as for the rest of our lives from there.
This morning at Cleveland.com I also wrote about a conversation I had with the great Melvin Levett at Kyrie's Camp. Here's an excerpt of Mel talking about Kyrie Irving from the article that's published here:
With the obvious ties to his hometown, Levett said the opportunity to coach at Kyrie’s basketball camp was a weekend he had circled on his calendar for a while now.
“I was chomping at the bit man”, he said with an enthusiastic smile. “I couldn’t wait to get here and have an opportunity to work with these kids from the area. Then to meet him [Kyrie] before - before all of the stuff he’s going to do – that’s been great too. He’s going to be a great player. He’s going to be an NBA All Star, and hopefully he’s going to be an NBA Champion.
I’m excited about getting this opportunity to meet him as he is right now. I think that's a little more significant, than when he finally gets there, to the ultimate supremacy. To have this chance to see him now when he’s raw, and he’s a very, very good kid. I say kid because I’m much older than he is [laughs], but at the same time he’s a good talent.”
As we continued to talk, Levett motioned down to a court behind us. Kyrie Irving was running up and down the floor in a referee’s jersey, officiating a game filled with ten-year-olds.
“Right there, for example, I see him running around reffing games right here, right now with these kids. He’s involved to that level, and it’s unbelievable. He doesn’t have to be here and to do this, but he does. He could come in, they could see him for a few minutes, and then he could leave. But he’s here like that, just as all these ProCamps’ guys are, and it’s great to be a part of this.”
NBA Champion would be awesome. Couldn't agree more, Mr. Levett.