Winning your first NBA championship is a special moment, and for Kyrie Irving, it was made even more significant because he missed all but one game of last year’s NBA Finals after dislocating his kneecap. So when Irving dotted Steph Curry with a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of this year’s Game 7, essentially sealing the championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers, one could only imagine his emotions.
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In the locker room after the game, amid a sea spray of champagne, Irving embraced his father and sister. Then he FaceTimed an NBA legend. In an interview, Irving told ThePostGame that he and Bryant, who developed a relationship through USA Basketball, videochatted in the locker room directly after the win, and that it was one of the cooler moments of Irving’s career. From Irving:
“I actually FaceTimed Kobe [Bryant] after the game as soon as I got in the locker room. Other than seeing my dad and my sister right after we won, FaceTiming him was just a great thing, knowing how he has won five and I just won my first. Then realizing how hard it is just to win one, my respect for him is already high, but it went to another level knowing that he’s got five of them. I’m trying to get a second one.”
With teammates LeBron James and Kevin Love in place for at least a few more years, Irving should have many opportunities to close in on Bryant’s ring total. We’re just surprised Bryant actually knows how to use FaceTime.