Don’t ever forget where you came from.
“He’s the reason I wear number eleven. I want to be the reason no one else will”.
Wade’s world rotating around the U.S. for Dwyane’s rocking chair tour, retirement season has seen him swap souvenir, game worn jerseys for autographed ones (or should we say threes for whoever’s lucky to get a look at some Miami Vice?) like he was kicking it with soccer. Exchanges with all sorts of players, from Terry Rozier III to of course King LeBron James for his one last dance with the man to man, matched up opponents of the National Basketball Association.
This is a league that regularly sees it’s stars kindly throwing their sweat soaked apparel to the crowds, if not auctioning them off for charity. D-Wade even launched his sneakers into the New York crowd outside the Madison Square Garden stadium in a flash following his last Billy Joel performance there last week. But it was Kyrie Irving last night who’s M.S.G. giveaway was on a Mecca epic, emotional scale.
If you want to know what Kyrie’s doing this Summer of free agency then like he said, ask him July 1st. But if you want big, blockbuster moments on Basketball’s biggest stage, with heart and soul of what this hardwood game is all about then look no further than last nights Knick blocking, 113-97 win. Where in a city homecoming the West Orange, New Jersey boy had a huge 23 points and a double, double of 10 rebounds, to go with 6 assists. But when it came to a souvenir for this classic contests crowd, it was given to Kyrie’s biggest supporter since day numero uno.
When number 11 got his father Drederick out the crowd to give him the very jersey off his back in an emotional embrace for not a dry eye in the Madison Mecca, things got really special. The very number 11 jersey he wears in honour of his pops. The very eleven jersey he wants to raise to the rafters with some Boston banners (free agency pending), so touchingly no one else in Celtics history but this one will wear this double first digit. If this legend does make his legacy the luck of the green Irish.
“My dad sacrificed his dream, so I could live mine”.
You’ve seen and love the one-on-one Nike commercial. The one telling us of the tragic loss of Kyrie’s mother, just 9 years into the young man’s life. As his father Drederick, whilst playing professionally in Irving’s native Australia was left to raise this young star and his sister alone Down Under. Drederick could have played in the NBA (he even tried out for Boston once). He gave that up. Kyrie does. And last night he gave it up for his dad in return like the day he signed with the Celts.
“We want Ky-rie” the Garden faithful changed in a full bloom chorus last night as following the Porzingis clearing house free agency trade for either a King Kyrie or Kevin this off-season to come, the Knicks watched another player have a Kobe or Jordan like night in Basketball’s Eden that wasn’t even wearing a New York uniform.
But no matter how much they cheered as the final horn buzzed, this game was for two men holding each other in concert on court.
Father time indeed.
Moments in Madison don’t get much bigger or better than this.