The Cleveland Cavaliers guard netted an incredible 23 in the final of the competition to beat Matt Bonner—capping off an incredible weekend for the youngster.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Kyrie Irving hoists his Three Point Shootout trophy after beating Matt Bonner 23-20, two shy of the contest record http://t.co/30csXH1x2/17/2013, 3:06:06 AM
Irving had already set the Internet ablaze with his glorious moves on Brandon Knight in the Rising Stars Challenge, but it was his victory in the three-point competition that will no doubt leave many talking about the skills of the youngster for many weeks to come.
And so they should, for Irving is without doubt the hottest young star in the NBA.
TNT analyst Steve Kerr said prior to the All-Star Weekend that the star guard was not only a strong player, but easily one of the best in the league.
"Talent-wise, he's right at the top," Kerr said. "I don't see anybody with a better skill set, including Chris Paul. Nobody has his shooting range, his shooting proficiency, his athleticism, his speed."
Denver coach George Karl had similar praise for Irving:
He has specialties. And probably his specialty right now is that he loves the fourth quarter. He loves the moment of the game. He doesn't have a weakness to his offensive game that I see. From a standpoint of stats, he doesn't have any areas of weakness.
And it seems that what the pair saw in Irving prior to the All-Star Weekend, the rest of the world just saw firsthand in a breathtaking performance.
It wasn't necessarily just about winning the three-point contest or running riot over Knight several times in a couple of seconds. The weekend in Houston proved that second-year Irving is just as talented as he promised last season, and that he isn't going to be a one-hit wonder in the NBA.
InsideHoops.com NBA @InsideHoops
We may see Kyrie Irving in the next 10-12 #NBAAllStar games2/17/2013, 2:50:43 AM
He proved that his future in the league is bright and that he has the skills to succeed long-term in the league. That in itself is a very scary thought to consider.
For Irving to have achieved what he has and still be in his second year is amazing.
For him to be doing it on a team without a whole lot else around him is simply phenomenal.
Irving has started every game for Cleveland this year—averaging 23.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game in the process. He is shooting 0.466 from the field, and 0.425 from deep this year and yet, somehow, the Cavs find themselves with a 16-37 record for the year.
The question about what they would be like without Irving is simply unthinkable.
The question of how good they could be if they got someone decent to play alongside him and help him out a bit is no doubt what drives this franchise forward.
Irving is the heart and soul of Cleveland at the moment, and has done remarkably well to turn the Cavs away from their heartbreak of losing LeBron James. He deserves the accolades and praise that will come his way in 2013 and beyond—not just for the All-Star Weekend but what he does week in and week out in a Cavaliers jersey.
Alex Kennedy @AlexKennedyNBA
Kyrie Irving is only 20 years old. He's not even old enough to celebrate his victory with a drink. #impressive2/17/2013, 3:01:43 AM
He is the hottest young star in the NBA, and you can guarantee that Irving's name will be repeated around the league for several more years to come.
And as a fan, you're not going to hear too many complaints about that.
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