Last night I stopped by the Word Church in Warrensville Heights for opening night of the Dru Joyce Summer League. Tons of Cleveland area basketball legends were in the building, with games going on two courts starting at 630.
For the 830 game, the great Earl Boykins came through and matched-up against Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis. Cleveland’s own Chet Mason had his team playing on the opposite court earlier when things tipped off at 630. Mason had former Kent State alum’s Nate Gerwig and John Edwards on his squad. Tony Fisher, owner of a couple Super Bowl rings, played in the 730 game. Sam Clancy, the former Player of the Year in the PAC-10 from USC, also played at 730.
Then at 9:30 the NBA Rookie of the Year came through to close things down for the night.
Kyrie Irving put on a show for the couple hundred fans in attendance. His team played against Ohio State great and future NBA player David Lighty, who also did his part for the fans gathered around the sidelines. Lighty mixed in a couple high flying dunks with some long-range bombs from the corner, and I continue to think the Cavs would be well-served by signing Lighty to a FA deal next season. There was one stretch in the game where Irving took the ball three times into the far corner himself, crossed his guy over a couple times, stepped back, and drilled a three on consecutive trips. That series alone was enough to make me willing to pay to get in, despite the free admission.
In a setting like that, you really do get a greater appreciation for just how ridiculous Kyrie Irving’s handles are. The jumpshot is pure as ever, but I’ve really never seen anything like the way he handles the basketball. It’s like there are magnets in his hand that pull the ball back into his palm no matter where he bounces it. Or something like that, I thought last night as I stood watching. Irving’s team ended up winning the game 82-77, with he and Lighty scoring the majority of their team’s points. Reggie Keely from Ohio University looked pretty tough as well, playing on Kyrie’s team in that last game of the night. Marcus Johnson from St. V’s and Andre Pope from Kennedy also played in the night-cap with Irving and Lighty. Uncle Drew was not in attendance.
Put this on your calendars: Cavs Draft Tweet-Up June 28th at Mullarkey’s Irish Pub with the Social Dudes – hope you can make it!