Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was dubbed MVP of the 2014 NBA All-Star game Sunday night, making the 21-year-old the second-youngest MVP ever, after LeBron James, who also won the honor as a 21-year-old while playing in Cleveland. The parallel wins have fans asking, will the two unite in Ohio?
Irving scored 24 points in the second half to clinch a win for the East, 163-155. It was the highest-scoring NBA All-Star game ever, and Irving tallied up the most points ever scored during an All-Star game half.
“There’s so many MVPs out there on that floor and to be named MVP among all those great stars is truly an honor,” Irving said at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans Sunday, according to the Associated Press. “It’s a blessing. I’m glad I get to bring it back to Cleveland.”
But Irving’s chemistry with James on court has Cavaliers fans wondering if the young player might be able to bring something else back to Cleveland too. The two playmakers quickly jelled on court. Irving dished to James for a layup that put the East ahead by six points with only 43 seconds to go, evoking loud cheers from the crowd.
Is there hope that James will return to Ohio after his stint in Miami? Irving is a lone star in Cleveland, which is having a miserable season this year. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has said before that he’s hoping to lure James back in 2014 to play with Irving. And if 29-year-old James hopes to continue earning rings, he may need to switch to a team with young talent.
Fans resurrected the wish on Twitter last night when they saw Irving and James clicking on the court.
Irving admitted that he’s aware of the possibility that James could return. “Everyone is going to have their opinion and write different stories,” Irving said. “But for me, my focus level is just on my team and our team that we have now. That’s the most important thing at this point for me. All the outside sources, I really don’t pay attention to. It’s more of an internal confidence thing that I’m trying to raise with the morale of my teammates. That’s what it’s about.”
James didn’t address the rumors but did speak highly or Irving. “Kyrie is special, it’s just that simple. His ability to shoot the ball, get into the lane, make shots around the rim, he has the total package. I’ve always known that. I’ve always witnessed that since he was in high school,” he said. “I’m extremely happy for him, extremely proud for him to receive this award.”