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Off the Bench field trip: A face-to-face encounter with reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving (video)

Nov 13, 2012, 10:17 AM EDT

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With the help of Deadspin’s Samer Kalaf at the helm of my iPhone, I trekked to New York City to hang out at “The Ainsworth”, a fancy restaurant with incredible tiny cheeseburgers.

There I had the opportunity to get my butt whupped in NBA 2K13 by a far superior opponent, watched the unveiling of Irving’s new Foot Locker commercial and stared at a bunch of famous shoes. Which we are not allowed to touch, apparently. Don’t touch the shoes.

Then I got to chat with Kyrie Irving, and we had a blast. He claims to like being a smaller player because it can help him do stuff ‘bigs’ can’t do, and his mentors in the art of the crossover are his uncle Rod Strickland, CP3 and, of course, Allen Iverson. The rest you can watch in the video.

You won ROY last year, and you were the #1 pick. Did you expect that? Was it your goal, or championship?

Championship! I was lucky enough to win ROY because my teammates had confidence in me.

Everything looks so natural in your highlight reel. Was that innate, or hard work?

Both. Some came from my talent and MOST came from my hard work to develop my skills.

Do you prefer being a little guy?

I like it. There’s a lot of things bigs can’t do that I can do.

Did you always want to be a PG?

When I stopped growing I had to be a poing guard (laughs).

Do you think it’s possible to concentrate so hard at basketball that you can become a dead eye shooter like Kyle Korver? 

I feel like it’s more confidence in your shot. You put in the hard work and you get confidence.

Goal for this season? 

Make the playoffs!

And then who knows!

Yep.