Kyrie Irving interview
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Friday night at 2012 NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving shined in the Rising Stars Challenge game, shooting 12-of-13 and hitting 8-of-8 three-pointers to finish with 34 points, 3 rebounds and 9 assists. He lead Team Chuck to a 146-133 win over Team Shaq and was named winner of the Rising Stars Challenge MVP. Here's what Irving said to media after the game:
Question: Have you ever had a night shooting like that, 8 of 8 from three?
Kyrie Irving: No, it's never occurred in my career. You know, it's kind of unfortunate that it comes in the All Star Game. These stats don't carry over to the season. But at the end of the day, it was still fun to get out there with those talented guys, so it was a great experience.
Question: What does it feel like to get that hot shooting from distance? And does the fact that it is an All Star Game, you basically know there's zero defense, did that help your confidence a little bit out there?
Irving: I mean, guys just continued to give me the ball. In the first half I had four threes in a row, I just kept telling them, I'm feeling it. I'm proud of them for actually having confidence in me, and it was just fun. It was fun getting hot, especially in the All Star Game when millions of people are watching. Like I said, it was an enjoyable game.
Question: You just got in a rhythm there, you couldnít miss from the three-point line.
Irving: I got into that at halftime. I probably attempted like two shots. I was trying to get assists. Once I got going, I was just kind of locked in.
Question: Do you think you should have been considered for the regular game?
Irving: Not at all. Not at all. Fans voted, and coaches voted, and it just so happens that I wasnít picked my first year. Itís not anything that Iím going to harp on. It would be an honor to be picked for that game. I have a few more years left in this league and hopefully Iíll work my tail off this summer.
Question: What do you like about the future of the Cavaliers right now?
Irving: I feel like weíre surprising a lot of people. A lot of people thought we were going to be a lot worse off than we were. This year, more than any other year going forward, weíre a rebuilding team. They probably thought we were going to start 0-27. But this yearís been a stressful year, and our run is not over. We still have a lot of games to play. This has been a nice vacation for me, and Iím looking forward to it.
Question: Tristan [Thompson] said that it was the work ethic that the media didnít see. Is there one thing in the Cavsí franchise right now that we just donít see that you guys are really excited about?
Irving: The constant camaraderie. We have so much fun. Everybody has a good time around each other. I mean, you see it in our play, and weíve lost a few games, but we go into film every single day, trying to get better. We practice as hard as we can. I think it starts with coach Scott.
Question: Obviously not a lot of defense played out there, but itís hard to hit eight three-pointers in a row. I donít care if guys are in your face or not.
Irving: Thatís what I work hard for. I practice every single day, working on my three-point shooting every practice. Iím still working on my shooting and trying to get near perfect.