I have to admit that I was only half watching the NBA Draft on Thursday. I didn’t care for talk of “upside” and ”wingspan”, I just wanted to know who was going where.
The moment that caught my attention was the moment that caught everybody’s attention. Washington Wizards’ pick Jan Vesely showing off his game after being selected had Shaunie O’Neal planning “Basketball Wives: Eastern Europe”. But it was another moment that impressed me even more, and I didn’t catch it until Sportscenter the next morning.
Coincidentally enough, it was after a story on the smooch that they mentioned (almost as an afterthought) top pick Kyrie Irving. Watching his press conference I thought it was great that a guy that young was so well spoken. Maybe I had watched too many interviews the night before with Mark Jones where the players, not only their Europeans, stumbled through the short Q & A, but it was refreshing to see a kid in his position coming off so poised and mature.
It was then that I noticed that on his lapel he was wearing a Best Buddies pin.
If you are not familiar with Best Buddies, it is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
I learned that Irving is a global ambassador for Best Buddies. He signed with agent Jeffrey Wechsler after being swayed by Best Buddies founder Anthony Kennedy Shriver that he in his position where he could make a difference in his community that went beyond making the fans forget that guy who took his talents to South Beach.
The following is a PSA he has filmed for Best Buddies.
So while most players are concerned with who is going to be sponsoring their shoes and what beverage they are going to have in their hand, Kyrie Irving decided his first endorsement deal would involve helping people.
How can you not root for him?