The Cleveland Cavaliers and their new franchise point guard have certainly set their sights high–exemplified by a jersey number.
When introducing Sexton for the first time, the Cavaliers showcased their rookie point guard–the No. 8 pick out of Alabama–with a No. 2 jersey. The number was famously worn by Kyrie Irving, which has raised all sorts of questions. Is the move putting undue pressure on Sexton? Is it disrespectful to Irving? Should Irving have the number retired? And so on.
Irving hit the decisive shot in an epic Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors in 2016. His winning three-point over Stephen Curry helped the city of Cleveland snap roughly half a century without a professional sports title.
While the Cavs have received scrutiny for their decision, Irving told reporters that he holds no ill will toward Sexton. In fact, he’s looking forward to competing against him.
"The story is probably going to be the number. But I'm more excited about who [Sexton] is as a player in the league," Irving said while promoting his movie, “Uncle Drew.” "The number thing is like, just chalk that up to the game. It's cool. It's no hard feelings from my end.”
The 19-year-old Sexton emerged as one of the top point guards in the NCAA last season, and he operated under the tutelage of former NBA guard and head coach Avery Johnson. Sexton will be on display during the Las Vegas Summer League, which will take place from July 6-17.
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