While Kyrie Irving appears to have a long NBA career in front of him, it's nice to know he has a backup plan available–acting. Irving dressed up as an old man, nicknamed “Uncle Drew,” for a Pepsi MAX commercial, where he showed some playground ballers a couple tricks.
Irving undergoes a complete transformation. He starts as a 20-year-old point guard and finishes as an overweight uncle, not unlike the one in every family that thinks he can still hang with the kids on the court despite adding about 50 pounds since his playing days.
After jacking up a couple air balls to throw everybody off the scent, Irving starts taking over with crossover moves and long-range jumpers. That causes a confused crowd to start getting behind him as the other players all take their turns trying to stop him.
When you consider how much makeup and accessories Irving is wearing while he's making all these moves, the entire commercial becomes even more impressive. He just explodes by defenders with ease and even throws down a huge dunk.
It's a perfect way for Irving to capitalize on his Rookie of the Year season. He's one of the NBA's brightest young stars and, as proven with this terrific spot, is quickly becoming one of the league's most marketable players as well.
And before you think it's impossible to develop into a megastar while playing in Cleveland, remember that LeBron James was able to become marketing gold while playing for the Cavaliers. If you have enough talent, it doesn't matter where you play.
Irving definitely has the talent.
He averaged 19 points and five assists in his first season despite very little experience in college and a lackluster supporting cast. With a couple young pieces on the roster and another high draft pick, it shouldn't be long before Irving's production explodes.
Perhaps more importantly for advertisers, he seems like a happy-go-lucky guy with a good head on his shoulders. Everybody, whether it's a major company like Pepsi or a smaller company, can feel safe that he won't damage the brand.
It's amazing how poised he is considering there are still 10 months until his 21st birthday. Most people that age are just making their way through college or joining the workforce and he's already dominating on and off the basketball court, and not letting his success turn into a big ego.
For now, the Pepsi Max commercial is good for a couple laughs. But when we look back on it in 10 years, it will have been the start of something big for Irving.
He's a superstar in the making.