Showing off during Team USA basketball practice may be a good indicator of whether or not one is headed for an injury-free summer. First, there was Blake Griffin's ridiculous off-the-wall dunk and then, of course, his subsequent knee injury.
As a Team USA Select Team player, Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving only had to show up to practice and play some defense, instead he enthralled just about everyone in the gym, including the guys heading to London, with his dribbling antics.
Irving, last season's NBA Rookie of the Year, injured his hand during Saturday morning's practice at a local high school after slapping the padding on the wall in the gymnasium. He was held out of the remainder of practice and had ice on his hand, but afterward said he didn't think his hand was hurt badly.
Irving, however, was sent to a hospital for X-rays after experiencing more pain on the bus ride back to the team hotel. The Cavaliers said Irving will be evaluated Sunday by team physicians at the Cleveland Sports Clinic. The preliminary projection has him returning in time for the start of training camp in late September.
Though Irving's injury will end his summer league play, Olympic gold may still be in the young star's future. If NBA players are still allowed to play in the 2016 Olympics, Irving seems like a lock to start for Team USA. During a teleconference with reporters after announcing the final roster for Team USA last Saturday, Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski said:
"When [Irving] was making a decision as to whether or not to play for the United States or for Australia I told him that I believed he eventually will be a starting guard for the U.S. team at some time in his career and for him just to get involved with the whole process. He's as good a player as the Select Team has and has shown his talents very, very well here. He's outstanding and he's a terrific, terrific young man."
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