If you’re tardy to the party, retired NBA legend, Rod Strickland is Kyrie Irving’s godfather.
Strickland grew up with Irving’s father, Drederick Irving in the Bronx, NY.
“I’ve known the Irving family since third grade,” Rod Strickland told me on the Scoop B Radio podcast.
“So I knew Kyrie before Kyrie knew himself.”
Added Strickland: “We showed Drederick, Kyrie could ball when he was real little, and I told him that one day he’s going to make you some money, because he was handling the ball really well at a real young age.”
Drafted by the New York Knicks with the 19th pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, Strickland, a 17 year NBA vet, averaged 13 points, three rebounds, and seven assists.
Post-NBA career, Strickland became an assistant coach under John Calipari with stops with the Kentucky Wildcats and Memphis Tigers.
He’s played against Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, was teammates with Chris Webber, Mitch Richmond and Rasheed Wallace.
Million dollar question: Would Kyrie Irving be able to handle the competition in the 90s?
“Absolutely,” said Strickland.
“He would’ve been a problem. I mean just look at the game. He can shoot the ball, he finishes with the bucket in, he can take contact, he has a mid-range, he can pass the ball, get him out in an open court, so he would check all the boxes over there. And he’s physical! So that physical stuff that was going on back in the day, let’s just say, I handled it pretty well and he’s got a lot more stuff than me, as far as maneuvering and getting in the paint and getting by people. I think he would’ve been as special as he is now. I think he’s one of those guys, just because of his skill level and physicality.”
Source: Heavy Sports