It's all but official that the Cavs will select Kyrie Irving with the number one pick in this year's NBA draft. Cleveland should be excited about the Duke point guard for a lot of reasons, but chief among them, for now and until he laces up and gets on the floor, might be that he shot down LeBron James.
From LeBron to Maverick Carter to the industry muscle of the Creative Arts Agency, they relentlessly recruited the Duke star. They wanted to do his contracts, his endorsements, everything. As it turns out, they would’ve marched right back into the life of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, with his next fresh-faced franchise star.
Lucky for Gilbert, the pitch fell flat on the Irving family, and substance over sizzle ruled the day. Irving chose an agent, Jeff Wechsler, who hadn’t bothered to recruit Irving at all.
An agent who recruited Irving marveled to his family that they could’ve made a lot of money in the college recruiting and agent processes, but never let it happen. Every big-time college coach and agent you talk to made something clear: Unlike many elite prospects and those surrounding them, the Irvings couldn’t be bought.
And when the agent Irving finally selected was asked to make a presentation, he focused on only two things, neither of which had anything to do with global branding, shoe contracts, endorsements, or any of the type of glitz that LeBron is obsessed with. He emphasized charity work and community. That was it.
Cleveland's going to love this kid.
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