I don’t want to say that Kyrie Irving is fragile, but… he’s always getting hurt.
Irving is out again, this time for the remainder of the season, after spraining his shoulder in Sunday’s game against the Raptors.
It’s just the latest in a long line of injuries that has many of us, myself included, wondering whether or not we’ll ever really be able to count on him once the Cavs become contenders. Yes, it’s still early in this whole process, but I mean… look at this list.
Freak foot/toe injury
Broken jaw that required a mask
That’s a lot for anyone. Bear in mind, that doesn’t include any of the minor bumps and bruises types of injuries players regularly endure. When you’re talking about your franchise changing, superstar point guard who isn’t even able to buy an alcoholic beverage legally, that mole hill quickly turns into a mountain.
A lot of this probably has to do with Irving’s style of play. He attacks the basket, drives to the hoop, and gets beat up. It’s only natural then that Irving is going to get hurt. It’s the same style of play that Allen Iverson made a career with and while He was wildly successful, led the 76ers to the finals and won an mvp award, you can’t help but think all that abuse helped shorten his career. Of course it didn’t help that Iverson reportedly had issues with acohol and didn’t care for his body in the same way players do now, even only 10 years later.
Once the Cavs establish a solid core around him, it would seem more than likely that Irving will alter his game. He plays the way he does now because he has to. With other players, most notably a fully competent Dion Waiters, irving may not have to take the abuse of driving the lane and rely more heavily on his already lethal jumper.
Although, it’s hard to deny the freakish manner in which some of these injuries have occurred. His foot injury while at Duke is enough to remind us all of Samuel L. Jackson’s character in Unbreakable. It was an injury without a name… literally. Doctors had never seen anything like it before. So there’s that.
On a positive note, Irving’s latest injury pretty much guarantees the Cavs with another solid top 5 draft selection. There’s no way they climb any higher up the standings without him. If anything, the Cavs are more than likely to fall back closer to the bottom and thus ensuring themselves of even better odds for the #1 overall pick. Combine that with the pick they are almost sure to get now from the playoff bound (hopefully) Lakers and there are the makings of something good going on here.
Let’s all just hope that Kyrie Irving can come back stronger and egen better than ever come 2013-14. If not, well then it may be time to start thinking about finding another franchise player. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that though.