The Vertical Podcast with Woj: Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving

In his most revealing interview since breaking his kneecap in Game 1 of the NBA Finals in June, Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving sits down with Adrian Wojnarowski for a telling conversation on The Vertical Podcast.

Across nearly 40 minutes, Irving talks openly about his frustrating early seasons in Cleveland as a teenage franchise savior, his growth as a player and moving into NBA championship contention. Irving talks in great detail about the influence of his father, who guided him through the minefield of scholastic basketball stardom, and the bond and lessons learned through his relationship with Duke and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski.

After going down in Game 1 of the Finals and facing surgery and a five-month rehab process, Irving talked of being a “prisoner of your thoughts, prisoner of your emotions.”

“You have to learn patience again,” Irving said.

After winning the gold medal in the 2014 World Championships for Team USA – earning tournament MVP honors – Irving talked with Woj about the outside perceptions and doubts that still lingered before starting his first season with LeBron James and Kevin Love in Cleveland.

“There was a certain knock that I wasn’t going to be able to play with other good players,” Irving told the Vertical Podcast. “I thought that was one the dumbest comments that I ever heard.”

Click here to download the podcast on iTunes, or listen here or on Yahoo Sports.