Kyrie Irving Never Wanted to Play for the USA

(RepublicanDaily.org) – Despite winning multiple medals for the United States while playing for Team USA, NBA superstar Kyrie Irving said that the U.S. national men’s basketball team would not have been his first choice.

In a Twitch stream, Irving said that he considered himself more of an “international player” and that his first choice would have been to play for Team Australia.

Both of Irving’s parents are American, but he was born in Australia, as his father Drederick Irving was playing for the Bulleen Boomers in the South East Australian Basketball League, a semi-pro organization. However, the Irvings moved back the U.S. when Kyrie turned two.

According to Irving, he was recruited to play for Team USA when he was in his late teens – 17 or 18 years old – but what he wanted to do was play for the Australian team. However, he said that Mike Krzyzewski, who was then the coach of Team USA, prevailed upon the young Irving to stay in Team USA.

“Coach K wasn’t going to let that happen (play for another national team),” Irving recalled.

Krzyzewski coached the U.S. national team in 2014 and 2016. Kyrie was part of the U.S. team that won the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in 2010, as well as the 2014 Team USA that won the basketball World Cup in Spain. He also won an Olympic gold medal in 2016 when the U.S. seized the top spot in basketball in the competition.

Despite his misgivings (in hindsight) about playing for Team USA, he has risen to defend the team from criticism, especially after Team USA lost to the U.S. Select Team in an exhibition match.

“It happens,” Irving said about the loss, reasoning that the team was relatively young so “everybody is trying to find a role and earn playing time.” He also urged fans and sports folk to give the team “time to gel and get to know each other’s game.”

Irving is currently playing for the Dallas Mavericks, and has courted controversy due to his anti-vaccine stance (and initially flat-out refusing to get the vaccine), as well as sharing a video to his 4.7 million followers that apparently contained strong antisemitism themes and ideas.

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