In the first game of the recent NBA Finals, Kyrie Irving lost more than just a game. The grand opportunity of bringing a title to Northeast Ohio slipped away from his hands, no thanks to a fractured kneecap.
Irving has had an injury riddled professional career and the one he suffered in overtime of Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors probably hurt the most, emotionally. After hobbling throughout the whole Eastern Conference playoffs, he finally made it to the biggest stage. However, he could not have went out in a worse way.
The moment was something that Irving needed to get out his system. In an article by Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group, the Cavaliers point guard confessed about repeatedly watching the replay of himself getting hurt.
“There was no reason behind it. It was just the eighth time I was like, ‘. . . I’m done watching this B.S.,’ I had to let it go.”
Some might not understand the point of watching one’s self get hurt over and over again, but, depending on the individual, it could actually help the person move on from the incident and shift to a mindset that is required in a tedious rehabilitation process.
In Haynes’ piece, Irving shared some of the thoughts that went through his head while he was on the sidelines.
“You have a significant injury, any significant injury whether it is two months, three months, four months, five months, in my case six or seven, you’re just constantly a prisoner of your emotions and your thoughts. Those days where you’re contemplating getting up and working out and every single day you’re wondering, ‘Will this be the turn? Will this be the day where I make the turn to be back on the floor?’
Some days being taken off the floor (in practice) because they told me I wasn’t ready. Those frustrating days are all put into perspective now being back on the floor and just never taking it for granted. I never took it for granted before, but when you’re out for that long and not being with your teammates, not being able to compete out there is a little tough. The great ones have withstood it and for me, I just try to reach out to a lot of people, ask for help and from a mental standpoint just never lose my edge.”
Alex Sabri ·
Alex Sabri ·
Haynes also described the cue that Irving needed to take himself, physically and mentally, to the next stage on his way to a comeback.
He said the confidence in his knee and in his game grew exponentially once he started having back-to-back days of rigorous workouts with no setbacks. He called it “the turning point” in his recovery.
Now, the core of the Cavs team that run roughshod through the entire NBA is now complete. They’ll be facing their June tormentors on Christmas Day and that game should be an excellent barometer on the league’s true power rankings at this point of the season.