A quick primer on the newest Celtic, Kyrie Irving:
1. He believes the Earth is flat (really)
Irving shared his views earlier this year on a podcast with two teammates. He later spoke about it with an ESPN reporter.
Kyrie Irving was trending on Twitter today because he believes the Earth is flat. I asked him about it. pic.twitter.com/ODe9aP9qmK— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 18, 2017
Teachers across the country weren’t happy that an NBA star made such a statement.
2. He could’ve played for Australia’s national team
Irving’s father, Drederick, played professionally in Australia, where Irving was born. And the folks down under hoped Irving would suit up for the Aussies, not Team USA.
Irving said before Team USA played Australia in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games that he was “very serious’’ about playing for the Boomers in 2012. And Wayne Carroll, then a top official at Basketball Australia, said his country made a strong pitch.
“The discussions with Kyrie and his family were legit,’’ Carroll said. “He considered playing for Australia and thought it was a genuine option.’’
Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, who coached Irving at Duke, helped keep Irving in the Team USA’s program.
“I’m still an Australian at heart, but it was just a family decision for me, and about my longevity in the game,’’ Irving said in 2012 of playing for the US.
3. He was offered a basketball scholarship at BU — as a fifth-grader
Drederick spent four years playing for Boston University, where he’s near the top in a number of statistical categories. (He left BU as the school’s leading scorer).
Could that tie have anything to do with an extremely early scholarship offer?
According to the Globe’s Gary Washburn, former BU coach Dennis Wolff offered Kyrie Irving a free ride — as a fifth-grader.
“I thought I was going to go to BU in fifth grade,’’ Irving said.
4. He likes dressing up as an old man
For money, of course.
5. Brad Stevens faced Irving in his short college career
Stevens was coaching the Butler team that was playing Duke in December 2010, when the phenom Irving hurt his toe.
Irving made it back for the NCAA Tournament, where the Blue Devils were the No. 1 seed in the West region. Duke made it to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Arizona.