I was talking with the legendary Melvin Levett when I first realized that Kyrie Irving was officiating league game action at his ProCamp in Cleveland on Saturday. The Helicopter, who I’ll have more on later this week, said he was thrilled to be back in Cleveland working as a coach with Kyrie’s Camp.
“This camp is great to be a part of because of how involved Kyrie is with the kids,” noted Levett. “Like for example, he’s down there now referring games. He doesn’t have to do that, but he does, and that’s great to see”.
After Mel gave me the heads up, I strolled down to watch Kyrie work a few games as an official. He missed some calls, probably could’ve blown his whistle with more authority, but overall he did prevent total chaos from breaking out on the court. Here’s a few minutes of video I took while I watched him.
After the game I asked Irving how he would categorize his officiating performance. Irving told me: “It was subpar at best. I’m going to review the tape and learn from the questionable calls though, get better from there.”
While addressing the campers as Day One concluded on Saturday, Irving offered the following: “I apologize for my performance today as a ref. If I ruined your guy’s game I apologize.”
Earlier in the day, Kyrie Irving spoke with the media who attended his ProCamp in Cleveland. Some of that exchange is below…
What do you hope kids can learn from their ProCamp experience this weekend?
“Just how to be a better person first. A better student athlete, how to get better. My Dad taught me things that I applied to life, and I’m trying to pass those things along now. I’m going to give kids as much advice as I can, and offer them things that helped get me through my childhood.”
What have you thought about the Cavaliers off-season?
“I think it’s been going pretty well. Our summer league games went well. Dion didn’t play as much as everybody thought he would, our rookies have a long way to go, as well as the whole entire team. It’ll be interesting coming into training camp, seeing who’s in the best physical condition as we get ready for Camp Scott.”
Did you warn Dion about Camp Scott?
“Yeah, but all the warnings and everything doesn’t amount to when you are actually in Camp Scott. You just have to deal with it, he’s a hard-nosed coach, and he’s just trying to get the best out of you. I warned him a couple times, but he’ll just have to experience it for himself.”
Have you talked with CJ Miles at all yet?
“CJ’s been in town for the last few days. I’ve been with him rehabbing, and I’ve seen him every single time. He’s a really good dude, and I’m really excited to see what we can do.”
How was the experience working out with the Select Team for you?
“Being part of the Select Team was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I had the chance to go against All Stars every single day. What’s better than that, at high intensity as well. So going against them, playing with them every single day. Just getting my mental strength better. Playing against those guys just continued to get me better. Seeing the way they work, and interact, I enjoyed it.”
Are the Cavaliers a playoff team?
“Honestly I’m not sure, it depends on how our pieces fit together. I feel like we have the necessary pieces to reach the post-season, but we have no idea until we actually get into camp and start developing chemistry. I’m really excited, I feel like we can do some things with Andy being healthy, me being healthy, CJ being healthy, and Dion and Tyler and Tristan, and it goes on down the line. We just have to play hard every night, and have something to prove every night. We can’t come out lackadaisical against teams that we should beat in the League anymore.”
Coach Scott has called Tristan the most improved player on the team this summer, you seen evidence of that too?
“I definitely have. He’s been working with Coach Mosley a lot, and he’s given him a new confidence. He’s been working on his 7-footer, his 15-footer, and he’s trying to get better everyday. You have to admire that, especially after the season we had last year, and it’s good to get into training camp ready to go. He’s turned up right now”.
How’s the hand?
“My hand’s alright. I’ve had the surgery, and I’m just rehabbing right now. The way it happened was a freak accident, it wasn’t an anger play or anything like that. It was just like dang, I messed up, and slapped the wall. I’ll be back on the court by September 1st, and I’ll be 150-percent by the start of the season”.
Notes: Kyrie Irving’s 2nd annual ProCamp in Cleveland was at capacity this weekend. There was a waiting list with approximately 60 campers, in addition to the over 200 in attendance. It was a great time had by all. There was a Mikan Drill station going on while I was there Saturday, and I wanted to participate. I decided to save myself for the knock-out competition however, but I ended up missing that too unfortunately.