Kyrie Irving: “i’m Not Here To Replace Lebron”

Last season was a rough one for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their fall from relevance started in the offseason when LeBron James announced his intentions to go to the Miami Heat. Losing the best player in the league along with a pretty terrible roster and a number of injuries all led to the Cavs winning just 19 games and finishing with the second worst record in the NBA. As bad as the season was a year ago, it also led to the Cavs winning the lottery and drafting Kyrie Irving. While it looks like the Cavs may struggle again this season and will rely on a lot of young players, Irving has brought a sense of hope back to a franchise that is still trying to move past the loss of their franchise player and Irving has given the Cavs a new player to build their franchise around. Kyrie Irving joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland to talk about how his first training camp in the NBA is going, whether or not he is completely healed from the injury that cost him most of his freshman season at Duke, how excited he is to get back on the court after an injury-riddled season, if he feels added to pressure to replace LeBron James, and what he was concerned about heading into his first training camp.

How he feels about his first training camp:

“Camp (Byron) Scott is going really well. The guys are really adjusting well to the pace of the game and getting back in to tip-top shape. Right now for me I’m just learning as much as I can from the veterans, Camp Scott, and the coaching staff. It’s going really well.”

Whether or not he is 100 percent healthy:

“There is no injury anymore. I’m 100 percent healthy. Right now we are taking some precautions just based on that’s what the trainers wanted to do but I’ve been integrating myself as best as I can, I’ve been going probably about 85 percent in practice, being in as many drills and scrimmages as possible, playing as much as possible, and just going really well like I said.”

How excited he is about getting back on the court after an injury-riddle season:

“I’m really excited. My dream is finally coming true. I’m just really excited to get the season started.”

Whether or not he feels extra pressure to replace LeBron James:

“No sir. I’m really not here to replace LeBron. LeBron had a great seven year career here and now that he’s moved on to Miami it’s about me integrating myself into the team, us going forward as an organization as best we can, and me starting my career here. I think that’s the basis of this season and I think it will be a really special year.”

What concerns he had going into his first NBA training camp:

“Heading into my first training camp I was just really concerned about getting used to the pace of the game. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape and I’ve heard stories about Coach Scott’s camp and I was a little nervous at first but now that we’ve had three or four days of training camp and I think it’s gone really well. The other thing I’m a little worried about is playing back to back to back games, 66 games in 120 days or so, it’s absurd thinking about it. Getting used to that and not hitting that rookie wall as early as most people do.”

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