Kyrie Irving is prepared to make a most memorable pass.
Cleveland’s star point guard said he’s going to give his diamond NBA championship ring to his father, Drederick. Irving, whose 3-pointer in the final two minutes of Game 7 helped the Cavs complete their historic comeback over Golden State in the finals, said following Saturday’s practice that he intends to give the keepsake to his dad.
“I give my dad almost everything,” he said. “So, every accomplishment, every MVP award, every trophy that I’ve had since I was probably about 13 or 12, I’ve given to my dad.”
Irving and his father, who was playing professionally in Australia, where the point guard was born, have an exceptionally tight bond. Kyrie’s mom died when he was young, pulling him closer to his dad.
The Cavs will receive their rings before Tuesday’s home opener against the New York Knicks. That’s also the night the Indians, who play next door to Quicken Loans Arena in Progressive Field, will host Game 1 of the World Series.
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With the championship banner for any Cleveland team since 1964 also being raised, the Cavs moved the starting time up to 7:30 so fans would be able to watch the ceremony before the Indians play.
Earlier this week, superstar LeBron James and Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said they expect the ceremony to be emotional. Irving, too, said it will be great to reflect on the team’s accomplishment before beginning a new season.
“There definitely is a special aspect to it,” he said. “You don’t want to shy away from that, but it also is the start of a new journey. So you just try to find a middle ground between that and just try not to get too high or too low. The crowd will be very enthused, not only for us getting our rings but the world series is starting, which is unbelievable. So, I just try to stay even keel with it, not get too high or too low. I’m excited to give my dad the ring and really gift it to him, and now it will be time to turn over a new leaf.”
Irving is expected to play in the opener. On Tuesday, he left an exhibition in Columbus with a tight left calf but said he’s better.