Kyrie Irving’s right foot injury prevented him from playing in all but 11 games down at Duke since last October, but it didn’t prevent him from being taken first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers this past June. While Kyrie continues to say that he feels “150%” and that his foot is “fine” every time somebody lobs the obvious question his way, he has also been told by doctors that his foot won’t actually completely heal for another three months.
This might be a major concern for the Cavs and Irving if an NBA season was looking to start up anytime soon, but the truth is Derek Fisher and David Stern still have a few thousand more details to iron out before anything like that hopes to get underway. Which is kind of a positive aspect of this Lockout for Kyrie and the Cavs, who can use this time to get their franchise player all the way healthy before he ever really gets started.
Partially the reason why Kyrie, as he told the Plain Dealer on Saturday, continues to remain optimistic about everything at the moment:
“I’m not really disappointed, I’m trying to be as optimistic as possible with this whole labor situation,” Irving said Saturday at the weekend camp he’s hosting. “Hopefully, the NBA and players association can come to a deal that is fair for both sides.”
Irving, 19, says he has no intention of signing overseas, an opportunity 50-plus NBA players have exercised with no end to the lockout in sight.
“I’m going to try and stay in school as long as possible until the lockout is over,” Irving said. “My dad still stresses education in my life. Me finishing up my sophomore year would be great, but me being able to play in an NBA game would be better . . . .
“I don’t want to go overseas. I’ve got a guaranteed contract here and I don’t want to risk injury over there.”
If I was sitting on a number one overall NBA draft pick I’d probably lock myself in that bubble George Costanza’s buddy did in that Seinfeld episode until I was afforded the chance to sign on the dotted line. That’s just me, and that’s certainly no the extreme Kyrie’s gone to this summer, but I totally get being cautious about all this. Irving was interacting and shooting around with kids at his camp in Westlake, OH over the weekend, and he is working out twice a day down in Durham too, but I also understand why he wouldn’t want to play in these Goodman, Drew League, or Impact Games right now also. Too much to risk at this point, and no real reason to risk it.
There will be a time when Kyrie is forced to test that right foot, and that time will be in an NBA sanctioned event – someday. Hopefully, by then we’ll all find out it’s 100% healthy, but don’t expect to find out anytime sooner. Kid didn’t come this far to test out his foot in China somewhere.