Kyrie Irving appeared at the Cleveland Cavaliers' post-practice media session on Wednesday, offering an update on his physical and mental state after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair the fractured left kneecap he suffered during the Cavs' 108-100 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
"I don't want the guys to feel sympathetic or anything like that or feel bad, because I'm pretty sure the Warriors don't feel bad at all over anyone else," Irving said, while lauding his teammates for their work in winning two straight to draw Cleveland within two wins of the first NBA championship in franchise history. "I want them to stay focused. For me, I'm as crazy as trying to FaceTime Iman Shumpert as he goes into the locker room for his shoulder just so I can give him a five-minute pep talk about how much we need him."
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
Well, of course Kyrie's reaching out in situations like that. He cares about his friends. Also, it seems like he cares about "Friends." As in, the TV show.
And, like, a lot.
Kyrie Irving has a Friends tattoo. I guess when you love Ross and Rachel, you really love Ross and Rachel. pic.twitter.com/3BRNOMjwHe
— Jack Moore (@JackPMoore) June 10, 2015
Sharp-eyed Cleveland fan and GQ contributor spotted the artwork on Irving's left forearm during his media session. Lots of NBA players have gotten lots of tattoos for lots of different reasons, but this, in its own way, feels as surprising and odd as just about anything Chris "Birdman" Andersen has cooked up over the years. (Well, besides those new skull tats.)
"Friends" premiered the day before I turned 12, so I wasn't exactly in the target demographic for a show about 20-somethings in New York. Still, it wound up being one of those shows that just about everybody I knew watched, whether infrequently or obsessively. It seems kind of crazy that Kyrie — who's 9 1/2 years younger than me — wound up digging it to the degree that he'd get its logo inked on his body ... then again, thanks to the magic of syndication, maybe the show's become even more ubiquitous over the decade since its final episode than it was during its massively successful initial run.
And, let's be clear: it is a "Friends" tattoo, as confirmed by the man himself via Instagram:
"'How many of us have them'🎶🎶," Irving wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. "I mean what can I say lol I'm a fan of the show."
(Suddenly, Kyrie reaching out to Shump makes even more sense. '90s TV tattoo bros have to stick together, after all.)
Maybe the next time Irving addresses the media, instead of wearing his "Killa & Champ & Menace & Drew" T-shirt — which, as you surely know, references the Cavs' nicknames for Mike Miller, James Jones, Kevin Love and himself — he'll rock a more tattoo-synergistic brand of Helvetica T-shirt. On second thought, though, he might not have to do another media session for a while now that he's talked about his injury; by the next time he steps to the mic, then, we might have all forgotten about this. That'd make the TV T-shirt switch sort of a moo point, I guess.
- - - - - - -