User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Kyrie Irving focused on USA Basketball

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Kyrie Irving is excited about playing with LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's also focusing squarely on the task at hand with USA Basketball.

Advertisement
''Right now the most important thing is that we're representing the United States,'' Irving said Wednesday after the U.S. team's practice. ''It's all about trying to win a gold medal.''

The 22-year-old Australian-American is one of 10 pure guards at the national team's training camp hoping to land a spot on the 12-man roster.

Irving emerged as a star for the team during mini-camp last summer when he ended the three-day event with a 23-point, seven-assist performance to lead the White squad to a victory over the Blue in a scrimmage game. But that was last year, when Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was shelved with knee problems.

This summer Rose has stolen headlines with an inspiring comeback after just three days in camp, Washington Wizards floor leader John Wall - known for his defense - was a late invitee to camp, and Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry also is competing for a roster spot.

''One of the biggest problems we have is every guard we have is really good,'' said USA assistant coach Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse head coach. ''There's not a guy on this team, in this group (of guards), that isn't an All-Star guard. That's the one position where we have such unbelievable depth. That's the one difficult part of getting this team together, that there's no bad guards.''

Boeheim added that Irving's improved strength is a plus.

''This team is a very perimeter-oriented team,'' Boeheim said. ''He's a guy who can get in the lane and make plays and make things happen.''

Irving, a member of the 2012 Select Team that trained against the U.S. Olympic team, won a gold medal in the FIBA Americas 18-and-under championships and would love nothing more than to add some hardware with the national team in Spain next month in the FIBA World Cup.

''It's just about figuring out what your role is going to be on this team, that's what I've been trying to do,'' said Irving, who won the NBA All-Star MVP trophy in February. ''Obviously, we all have our own talents and abilities, but at the end of the day we all have one common goal. Obviously, I have to sacrifice my goal for the greater good of the team. It may look like I'm in a comfort zone, or I'm not doing too much, but honestly it's just me figuring which way I best fit on this team.''

During the latter half of Wednesday's scrimmage at UNLV's Mendenhall Center, he looked as if he fit in just fine, passing with ease, executing a drive-and-kick game to perfection and getting everyone coach Mike Krzyzewski put on the floor involved with the Blue squad's scheme.

Even when the 6-foot-3 guard didn't have the ball or was on defense he looked in charge, barking orders, getting guys in position and simply being the kind of vocal leader Krzyzewski is looking for on the court.

''We have outstanding guards; there will be some good, tough decisions to make as a result,'' Krzyzewski said. ''Kyrie is one of the best players in the league. He's gotten older, and (he's learned to) understand the responsibility of being a key player with his franchise. Now he's one of the key players, but he was the key player for (the Cavaliers). That's a large responsibility, and I think he's learned from that and he's brought that into this game.''

Though Krzyzewski said his former Duke point guard is not accustomed to playing with guys who are rim runners - like Kevin Durant or Anthony Davis - his knack for adjusting well will not only help his cause for making the final roster, but also his play alongside James with the Cavaliers.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Wednesday's Tip Sheet
Sportsbook.ag: Wednesday's Best Bet
Akins: Hoop Trends - Wednesday
Mejia: Dinero Talks: Midseason Awards
Rogers: Hot and Cold Teams
News: Midseason Win Total Update
Anthony focused on Knicks, not drama
Love questionable against Suns
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
6-0 L2 Days, +1,740 This Season
6-1 Run, 13-4 GPlays, 28-10 Totals
4-0 L4, 23-9 Streak, 8-1 Totals
4-1 L2 Days, +2,086 This Year
3-0 L3 Picks, 17-6 L23 Guarantees
10-3 L13 G-Plays, 7-3 L10 Picks
6 Straight NBA Winners
5-1 Monday, 4-1 L5 G-Plays
10-1 L11, 17-5 L22 Guarantees
5-1 L6, +1,482 Guarantees TY
3-1 L4 Days, 9-4 L13 Guarantees
15-6 L21 Guaranteed Plays
3-1 L4 Picks, 16-7 L23 Totals
8-3 L11 Picks, 5-2 L7 Over/Unders
3-1 NBA Picks Yesterday
8-3 L11 Over/Under Plays
3 Wins in a Row, 8-2 L10 Picks
NBA Pro Basketball Expert Sports Picks - Indiana Pacers at Sacramento Kings
2016 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Doc's Sports + 2086
Chip Chirimbes + 1740
Kevin Rogers + 1324
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 661
Michael Black + 600
Paul Bovi + 475
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Mark Franco 58 %
Doc's Sports 57 %
Chip Chirimbes 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Alex Smart + 1482
Chip Chirimbes + 1149
Kevin Rogers + 940
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 1168
Bill Marzano + 1160
Jimmy Boyd + 584
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 957
Bill Marzano + 738
Jimmy Boyd + 603
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership