Cavs news: Iman Shumpert not worried about facing off against Kyrie Irving because he knows all his moves
As most NBA fans know by now, the Cavs finalized a trade earlier this week that sent Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected first-round pick in next year’s Draft, and the Miami Heat’s second-round pick in 2020.
On Jan. 5 of 2015, Shumpert was traded to the Cavs by way of a three-team deal (Cavs, New York Knicks, and Oklahoma City Thunder) — the same deal that brought J.R. Smith to Northeast Ohio. In his two years of service with the Cavs since that date, “Shump,” as he is known, became close friends with Irving. In fact, the two players were often seen on-court together during pre-game warm-up drills.
Now, with the Cavs and Celtics slated to kick off the 2017-18 NBA season, these two friends will meet on the hardwood again — this time as opponents.
As Shumpert and his wife, Teyana, walked to their SUV, TMZ asked the savvy defender if he had any messages or hard feelings for Irving.
“Nah,” Shumpert quickly replied. “That’s my bro. This is a business, dog. This is all a business. I used to do the super-loyalty and all of that, but this is a business at the end of the day. And we can’t get mad when things don’t go how you want it to go because it’s in your heart.”
When asked about the Cavs’ regular season opener against the Celtics, Shumpert says it will be “just another game.”
“It’s gonna be a good game,” Shumpert said, downplaying the matchup. “It’s Boston against the Cavs. It’s the first game, and we’re gonna try and win it. I know how Kyrie plays. I know we gotta beat them. That’s it.”
Prodding a bit further, the TMZ reporter then asked Shumpert if he “has Kyrie’s number.” And no, not his phone number. He obviously has that.
“That’s my dude,” Shumpert said with a big smile. “I know all of his moves.”
With the NBA season approaching fast, hoops fans won’t have to wait much longer to see their favorite players in action. Who will prevail in this clash of friends remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say they’ll both be ready.