|Lead on, dude!|
Kyrie Irving signed a max deal this week in refreshingly drama-free fashion. No fuss, no muss, just a tweet from Dan Gilbert and a video of the newly minted gazillionaire dancing in celebration.
Life is good for the 22-year-old point guard, and better for
Cleveland fans tired
of the speculation that Irving
wanted out of town. At the very least, many thought he would take more than two
minutes to agree to a long-term extension.
That's not the case and
Irving's here for the long haul.
The next step for him is to return to the leadership role he was growing into during
his first two years with the franchise. Those were the "Mr. Fourth
Quarter" days, when the point guard with the illest dribble in the association
(Author's Note: "illest" is
street slang for "nothing better than") was breaking ankles and
crushing last-second jumpers in fearless fashion.
That Irving was sorely missing last year. Blame Mike Brown's less-than-inspirational coaching techniques or Chris Grant trying outsmart to himself with hipster draft picks, but
took a step back. Too much hero ball, and too many moments when he looked disinterested
on both ends of floor. There were times when Irving seemed to chafe against being on the
court at the same time as Dion Waiters. And even on the days when he was
pouring in points, he was often matched bucket-for-bucket by his opposite
Irving would not be the keystone piece of the
team. Point-guard led championship squads are rare. And everyone knows you need
a "Big" something-or-other to make a serious run in today's NBA. With
That Guy in (TGiM) and his little sewing circle
adorably opting out of their contracts at the same time, it's likely any dream
of a Reverse Decision has died on the vine. For the LeBron-less Cavs moving forward, a marvelous
concoction of being very good and very lucky is going to have to be built
through draft picks supplanted by smart trades and smarter free agency