Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers recounted the time when Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving — who was unknown and unranked during the time — showed up in Deron Williams’ basketball camp and destroyed everybody.
Rivers spoke with former NBA player and Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell in the Go Off podcast. Among the many things they talked about was the Deron Williams’ basketball camp in New Jersey featuring the top prospects in the country.
“We were there. All the top-ranked guys… Brandon Knight, Dion Waiters, Josh Sheldon, anybody you could name, John Wall, all these guys were there.”
Rivers noted that he practically knew everyone except this kid named Kyrie Irving, who he believes was inserted into the camp simply because he was the hometown kid.
“And I remember they had this kid Kyrie. I think it was in New Jersey where he’s from. They brought in a local kid. He was the local kid. He wasn’t even supposed to be there. He was like the kid they brought because someone wasn’t able to come and they had a local kid who could play. So they brought in Kyrie.”
That time an unknown @KyrieIrving was invited to @DeronWilliams’ skills academy and put on a show 🏀🔥@AustinRivers25 sets the scene on his podcast #GoOff w/ guest Sam Cassell
🎧: https://t.co/vDhkF1WlWS pic.twitter.com/6MHSJ5iROJ
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) May 27, 2020
But things soon changed when they got into a one-on-one drill. According to Rivers, Irving just annihilated him and the top-ranked players. And all of them were puzzled because they haven’t heard of Irving before.
“Kyrie gets in the one-on-one drill and starts wearing out everybody. I’ve never heard of this guy’s name. I’m like ‘who the hell is this dude?'”
So Deron Williams hops in the game. Mind you this is his camp, he was an All-Star during that time. They’re going back and forth. Kyrie was hitting him with some sh*t.”
Rivers said that the camp went on for a few more days. And every day, Irving just kept on showcasing his skill. Then after a few years, that’s when Irving blew up.