Kyrie Irving offers some advice for Michael Porter Jr. after his season-ending injury
A season-ending injury kept the Celtics guard's time at Duke very brief before he jumped to the NBA
Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, a former No. 1 overall pick, might be more known for his handles and championship these days, but he was once a top college prospect. However, an injury kept his time at Duke very brief before he jumped to the NBA for the draft.
A similar story could happen with Michael Porter Jr. of Missouri. A potential top pick in the draft, Porter Jr. suffered a season-ending injury that will leave many wondering what his status is for the draft. He can still make the jump thanks to his talent and potential, but if you ask Irving that isn't what he's probably thinking about right now.
"It's tough for any young kid to go through that especially if they haven't been through any real injury in their lives. I'm not (familiar with) his history but I'm pretty sure that's probably his first one where he had to sit out a whole entire season ... As an 18-year-old kid understanding how talented you are, you just want to play basketball. When it gets taken away from you like that for the betterment of your health at the time, you can't necessarily understand that because literally basketball is all you know. For me, it just gave me time to focus on other things. Focus on my body. Understand what the goal was at hand that I was trying to accomplish. I'm pretty sure the NBA scouts have enough on him to know whether he's gonna be in the top two or three.
He's a talent. We've seen guys get drafted [like] Joel [Embiid] that didn't play for what, two years? Three years? You never know what can happen as long as he gets the opportunity and he makes the most of it and understands that things like this happen and it's part of your athletic career. Sometimes, the biggest thing is how you respond from it."
Irving provides a very interesting take that doesn't really focus on Porter Jr.'s draft stock or NBA future. When the injury happened, the first thought that came to mind was how it would impact his long-term future, but for Irving, he's talking about how Porter Jr. probably feels right now. It's painful going through a long-term injury early in life and not being able to play basketball. It's the type of thought process that really only a player like Irving, who went through a similar situation himself in college, would be able to fully understand.
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