Kyrie Irving cemented his ballhandling legend after a stellar rookie season with a phenomenal outing in a Team USA scrimmage that summer.
Irving is commonly considered the greatest ballhandler of all time, and it’s pretty easy to see just why. The 29-year-old does whatever he wants with the ball on the court. He gets from point A to point B in a prettier, more unpredictable fashion than practically any player in memory.
Kyrie Irving says that he improved his handles by putting polythene bags on balls and dribbling them. This exercise, he says, helped him develop a tighter handle and better special awareness.
The likes of Allen Iverson, Tim Hardaway Sr and other elite ballhandlers have always given Irving his flowers. They know just what’s up when Uncle Drew puts his head down.
When Kyrie Irving crossed up Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant on the same play
Team USA was gearing up for London Olympics 2012. A total of 30 players made the cut for the Team USA Select roster, and they played a few scrimmages among themselves at the time.
Kyrie had built up to his moment against the Mamba with a ton of anticipation till that point. He’d even challenged Kobe to a one-on-one, which the Lakers legend ducked by talking him down.
Irving soon found the perfect opportunity to show his idol just how well the disciple can make a mentor dance. In fact, Irving made half of Team USA’s top 10 players dance on the court in a couple of plays that game.
You can see Irving leaving a trail of Hall of Famers in his wake right in the first possession. Down went Kobe and KD, both gambling and trying to pressure the world’s most assured ballhandler.
Irving would soon go on to display these talents for Team USA later, although he didn’t make their roster for that Olympics.