Cavs: Kyrie Irving’s 3 best All-Star Weekend moments with CLE

Guard Kyrie Irving, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, competes in the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Guard Kyrie Irving, then of the Cleveland Cavaliers, competes in the 2013 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

There has been a lot of drama regarding Kyrie Irving the past few years, with some warranted and some not, but many people forget his rise to stardom and some of the key events that made him a household name and one of the most popular players in the league first with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Being a #1 pick and being the top prospect gains you plenty of recognition, but the spotlight wasn’t that bright on Irving for the beginning of his career.

This was largely because of the talent around him and being on a losing team for his first few seasons. Some of his biggest breaks came from All-Star Weekend, though, where everyone had their eyes on him, with a few having even been before the LeBron James Cavs return.

So here, with All-Star Weekend approaching, we’ll highlight Irving’s three biggest moments from All-Star Weekend as a member of the Cavs.

The first was back in 2013.

#3: When Irving repped the Cavs in the 2013 Three-Point Contest

Kyrie was only 20 years old heading into the 2013 All-Star Weekend. He was in the midst of his second season on a then-struggling 16-37 team, albeit averaging 23.5 points and 5.5 assists heading into that time.

He was known for his dominating and flashy scoring, as well as his clutch gene being shown in some of Cleveland’s few clutch victories. Little did we know that clutch gene helped put the nail in the coffin for the team’s first championship in 2016.

Kyrie competed in the three-point competition that aforementioned weekend in 2013, beating out the likes of Paul George, Steve Novak, Ryan Anderson, Matt Bonner and Stephen Curry.

He ended up advancing to the finale, and winning by beating Matt Bonner 23-20, just two shy of the all-time record at that time.

This was a big moment for him, especially when you consider it would end up being Irving’s first All-Star selection, and because he was going against Steph Curry, who would develop into being the best shooter, realistically, in the history of the game.

This excelled his rise to stardom and was special coming off of Irving’s Rising Stars performance the day before, which is our second moment.

#2: Irving’s performance while repping the Cavs in the 2013 Rising Stars Competition, and his crossover, most notably

This moment does not need that much explaining. Kyrie had one of the dirtiest crossovers ever during his Rising Stars Game on Brandon Knight.

This crossover went viral and will forever be remembered. It was talked about for the rest of the regular season.

Irving finished the game with 32 points, six assists and six rebounds. Kicking off the All-Star Weekend and becoming the most talked about player of the weekend, Irving had solidified himself as one of the league’s brightest young stars.

#1: Irving’s 2014 All-Star Game MVP showing, from back in his Cavs days

This game for Irving wasn’t a huge moment at the time, but for Cleveland Cavaliers fans, it certainly carried weight. This was Irving’s second All-Star game, and first time being a starter, next to none other than LeBron James.

At the time LeBron just came off of his second straight championship with the Miami Heat, and all we had in Cleveland was Irving and Dion Waiters then as our light at the end of this tanking tunnel. I remember this being a chance for Irving to show his skill set as a starter next to the league’s best players.

Irving had plenty of flashy plays, and I specifically remember the connection he and LeBron seemed to have on the court and an ability to feed off each other. Kyrie was named the All-Star Game’s MVP. Irving had a dominant performance, finishing with 31 points and 14 assists.

This game was huge. In my opinion, I 100% think this played a factor in LeBron’s return to Cleveland the following offseason. Even if it was a very small fraction. Bringing a championship to Cleveland was important, but having a player like Irving next to you had to be even more tempting.

The two also clearly had a connection on the court during that game, and whether it was a factor or not, in a weird way it was nice to see them perform well together. It felt even better when they were able to finish the job and bring that ring to Cleveland.

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One thing you can never take away from Irving is his ability to rise to the occasion and perform at his best when it matters most. He showcased that early on and had some special moments at All-Star Weekend as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.