There was a new coach K. on Friday night in North Carolina.
About 150 miles from where he played college football for Mike Krzyzewski of Duke College, Celtics point-keeper Kyrie Irving stepped in as honorary coach of the US team at Rising Stars Challenge at Charlotte's Spectrum Center.
Together with the head coach of the team, Darvin Ham of Milwaukee Bucks, Irving helped the group to a victory of 161-144 against Team World. Irving pulled a black blazer over a black hoodie and seemed to enjoy himself, though he had openly admitted that the execution of his phone calls was anything but successful.
"Not a single game, not a single game worked," he said with a smile. in a microphone on TNT. "It was just a lazy change."
Honorary Coach Kyrie Irving shares his experience with the USA team. 1945 #MTNDEWICERisingStars pic.twitter.com/jygDLh0o9B
– 2019 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 16, 2019
During his pre-game preparation, his said Team "it's okay to compete" and continued to push a defensive mindset throughout the game.
"At least once or twice in this game, please take a stance," he said. "Only once or twice, please. Once only! You're welcome. Just for my sake, it's a fun game to see these guys meet out here.
While there were few correct defensive positions, Irving was still cheering actively on his team, clapping and shouting various messages of encouragement, including "Stay Hot!" And "Push!" He may have been a little more aggressive than he was Player motivated: teammate Jayson Tatum.
"Hey JT, would you put up the pitch? Get on the place! "He shouted playfully. "I had to talk to JT like that to try to get him to work."
What did Tatum think of Irving's tactics?
"The first coaching match earned him a win," said Tatum, who scored 30 points and nine rebounds. "Not so bad."
Asked for the best advice Irving gave him on Friday night, the sophomore gave an answer that probably put a smile on his coach's face.
"Go back to the defense," Tatum said. "That was it."
Before training In the Rising Stars Challenge, Irving was also one of the coaches of the annual Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game.
"The game can be understood by many different people," said Irving on Saturday. "Seeing these gracious, great individuals understand the basketball game and really go out and play their hearts was nothing short of amazing. Basketball has a way of speaking to everyone. "
– Boston Celtics February 16, 2019