Kyrie Andrew Irving born March 23, 1992 is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was named NBA Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. A five-time NBA All-Star, Irving was selected to the All-NBA Third Team in 2015. He won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.
Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the Cavaliers in 2011. He was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (MVP) in 2014. In the 2016 NBA Finals, he made a three-point field goal with 53 seconds remaining in a tied Game 7 to help lead the Cavaliers to a championship over the Golden State Warriors. After losing a rematch against the Warriors in the 2017 Finals, Irving requested a trade, and was traded to the Boston Celtics. He has also played for the United States national team, with which he won gold at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, he starred in the film Uncle Drew.
Irving was born on March 23, 1992 in Melbourne, Australia, to American parents. He is the son of Drederick and Elizabeth Irving, and the stepson of Shetellia Irving. He has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London. His father, Drederick, played college basketball at Boston University alongside Shawn Teague and under coach Rick Pitino. After completing his college career, Irving’s father moved to Australia to play professionally for the Bulleen Boomers in the SEABL. Irving lived in the Melbourne suburb of Kew before relocating to the United States when he was two years old. He holds dual American and Australian citizenship.His mother, who was half Sioux, died of an illness when he was four, and Drederick raised him with the help of Irving’s aunts.
Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, where he often went to his father’s adult-league games. His inspiration to play in the NBA came after playing at Continental Airlines Arena during a school trip in fourth grade, when he said, “I will play in the NBA, I promise.” As a result of his father’s connection to Boston University, Irving spent a lot of time in Boston, including at BU’s basketball skills camp. In fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff. As a teenager, Irving played for the Road Runners of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU).
In July 2017, Irving requested the Cavaliers to trade him, reportedly to be more of the focal point of his own team instead of continuing to play alongside LeBron James. On August 22, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick. Eight days later, the Celtics agreed to send the Cavaliers a 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat to complete the trade, as compensation for Thomas’ failed physical.
In his debut for the Celtics in their season opener against the Cavaliers on October 17, 2017, Irving had 22 points and 10 assists in a 102–99 loss. He had a chance to tie it with a 3-pointer at the horn but missed. On October 30, 2017, he scored 24 points for the third straight game in helping the Celtics defeat the San Antonio Spurs 108–94. It was the Celtics’ first win over the Spurs since 2011. Irving’s 128 points in his first six games as a Celtic were the most since Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each had 131 in 2007. On November 6, 2017, he scored 35 points in a 110–107 win over the Atlanta Hawks, recording his first 30-point game as a Celtic while scoring more points (245) than any player in his first 11 games with Boston. With the win over Atlanta, the Celtics improved to 9–2 with nine straight wins, setting their longest winning streak in seven years. On November 20, 2017, he scored 10 of his season-high 47 points in overtime as the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 110–102, extending their winning streak to 16 games. The streak ended at 16 games with a loss to the Miami Heat two days later. On January 21, 2018, he scored 40 points in a 103–95 loss to the Orlando Magic. The Celtics had accumulated a 34–10 record by mid-January, but their loss to Orlando was their season-worst third straight defeat. On January 27, 2018, he scored 37 points on 13-for-18 shooting with five 3-pointers in a 109–105 loss to the Golden State Warriors. On February 28, 2018, Irving helped the Celtics improve to 4–0 following the All-Star break with a 134–106 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Irving led Boston with 34 points, making 13 of 18 shots overall and going 4-for-6 from 3-point range in the first three quarters. On March 24, 2018, he was ruled out for three to six weeks after undergoing a minimally-invasive procedure to remove a tension wire in his left knee. Less than two weeks later, he was ruled out for the entire postseason, with a recovery time of four to five months, after another procedure was scheduled to remove two screws from his patella that were inserted in 2015 to repair a fracture he suffered during that year’s NBA Finals.
In 2012, Irving played the role of Uncle Drew in a series of Pepsi Max advertisements. He wrote and directed episode 2, in which he starred alongside Bill Russell and Kevin Love, and episode 3, in which he starred alongside Nate Robinson and Maya Moore. Irving also wrote and directed episode 4 of “Uncle Drew”, which was released in November 2015, and in which he starred in alongside Baron Davis, J. B. Smoove, and Ray Allen. In 2017, the Uncle Drew advertisement series became a skit inside an old school diner featuring Pepsi in its current design, stored in a fridge with its original logo. Irving has also starred as the character in a feature film, Uncle Drew, which also features former NBA stars, and was released in June 2018.
In 2012, Irving appeared on an episode of the Disney XD series Kickin’ It. In June 2017, Irving starred in an episode of the Houzz series My Houzz, in which he surprised his father with a major home renovation.
Irving enjoys reading and has a journal. He also likes to sing, dance, and play the baritone sax. His godfather is former NBA player Rod Strickland. His cousin, Isaiah Briscoe, was a highly rated basketball player who played at the University of Kentucky before declaring for the 2017 NBA draft. Irving and his ex-girlfriend have a daughter together, Azurie Elizabeth Irving, who was born on November 23, 2015. Azurie’s middle name, Elizabeth, was given to her in honor of Irving’s late mother.
In May 2011, Irving made a promise to his father to finish his bachelor’s degree at Duke within five years. However, in 2016, having not achieved his degree, he claimed he was putting his plans on hold, stating, “when I leave the game of basketball, then I’ll focus on the next step of my life”. In 2015, he launched his PSD Underwear collection.
In November 2016, Irving tweeted his support for Standing Rock Sioux tribe protesters who were demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Protesters say the pipeline violates sacred tribal land on Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s reservation and poses a direct threat to clean water the tribe uses.
Starting with the 2016–17 season, Irving moved to more of a plant-based diet, which he also referenced in a December 2017 Nike ad.