There's no question that Cleveland has had a tough time of it lately. Other than Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers have had few bright spots.
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The team got smart about who it hired to run things, though, and by the time the brain trust sat down with Irving, his father Drederick, and his agent Jeff Weschler, most of the background work had already been done: a solid GM was in place who liked a running team, a coach came in who, though unknown to many Americans, is a winner and a guy who doesn't suffer fools gladly, as Jeremy Tyler learned during his brief experience in Tel Aviv.
So Irving, who earlier had supposedly had reservations about returning to Cleveland, bought in. He's signed a 5 year, $90 million dollar extension and is set for life.
Aha, we hear you saying, athletes say that all the time. And we mean no disprespect to Weschler when we say that there is a long history of agents ripping off athletes. It's nothing new.
But that shouldn't be a problem for Irving.
His father, remember, works on Wall Street. Kyrie's money will be well cared for and will grow, and even if Weschler were the sort of agent who would take advantage of a young, naive athlete, in this case, he'd have to take advantage of someone who knows as much or more about money as does he.
So, basically, barring some bizarre and unlikely development like mental illness or severe addiction, Irving can play basketball for as long as he likes and then do as he pleases after.
Given his ascension into the NBA elite, it may be time as well to ask this question: is he the best point guard ever to come out of the ACC into the NBA?
Who are the rivals?
Surely you have to start with John Lucas and Phil Ford, yet both guys sabotaged themselves, Lucas with cocaine and Ford with alcohol.
It could've been Kenny Anderson, but he was superior for a time, not great.
It might've been Bobby Hurley had he not been so severely injured and of course the same goes for Jason Williams.
Kenny Smith? Ty Lawson?
It's hard to think of anyone who is truly better than where Irving is now, though, as we said, Ford and Lucas could have been Hall Of Famers in something besides addiction.