Kyrie Irving wasn’t one of the 20 finalists selected to play for the U.S. team this summer.
That’s OK, he’s got another Olympic option.
Cleveland’s sensational rookie point guard may play for Australia in the London Games.
Irving was born in Australia while his father, Drederick, was playing there professionally. Irving has dual citizenship, creating quite a dilemma for the 19-year-old. His choice of country to represent in the Olympics could have a long-term impact on his international playing career. If he plays for the Aussies, Irving would not be eligible to play for the Americans.
However, suiting up for Australia is all he can do presently.
”That’s probably my only choice right now,” he said earlier this week. ”It will be a long-term decision, and I’m hoping to know in the next month or so. I’ll keep you updated.”
The No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, Irving, who is off to a fabulous start for the Cavs, said he has been in contact with officials about his playing future.
”Honestly, it’s going to be a process if I decide to play for Australia,” he said. ”A lot of things have to do with FIBA and Australian lawyers, but I’m not ruling out that possibility of playing with the Australian team. If it happens, and I play for Australia, great. But if I don’t, then in 2016 I’ll decide again.”
Although he’s not in the U.S. team’s current pool of potential Olympians, Irving will likely be a candidate in the near future if he continues to play the way he has in his first month as a pro. Irving is averaging 17.7 points and 5.2 assists for the Cavaliers, who take a 6-7 record into Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls.
Irving said U.S. Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, his coach for one season at Duke, is aware that he might take his game Down Under.
”Either way, I know he’s going to make a pitch for me playing on the U.S. team when I see him,” Irving said. ”We’ll see how it goes.”