Nets’ Kyrie Irving an ‘assassin’ and a true ‘Mamba disciple,’ says Richard Jefferson
Speaking with ESPN’s Omar Raja, Jefferson shared his observations on the Nets star in those two years and a half years donning the Wine and Gold. According to Jefferson, Irving does not receive enough credit for his mental approach to the game.
“Kyrie’s an assassin. He is a Mamba disciple. … All he would do is watch old video clips of Kobe, old clips of Jordan.”
"Kyrie's an assassin. He is a Mamba disciple. … All he would do is watch old video clips of Kobe, old clips of Jordan." @Rjeff24 tells @OmarESPN Kyrie doesn't get enough credit for his approach to the game. https://t.co/eqcCOzgNzR
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 2, 2020
Jefferson added that during long plane trips, Irving didn’t really hang out with the rest of his teammates who were playing cards to pass the time. Instead, the Nets point guard was watching the games of the great ones and was constantly studying their moves. For Jefferson, people don’t appreciate this side of Irving simply because the guard doesn’t talk about it in public.
Jefferson and Raja talked about the Cavaliers’ historic 3-1 comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals against the 73-win Golden State Warriors team. While it’s considered a team accomplishment, it was a series that put Irving’s name on the basketball map.
Irving, who was just 23-years-old during that time, faced up against Klay Thompson — considered one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. Not only did he drop 41 points in Game 5, but he also hit the clutch 3-pointer in Game 7 which eventually led to the Cavs’ great victory Warriors.
And Jefferson’s story proves that the legend of Irving wasn’t crafted overnight. It was a long process that started with studying video clips of the greats that came before him.