Cavs point guard Irving calls kneecap injury 'a freak play'
CLEVELAND (AP) Kyrie Irving doesn't regret a single move. Not playing on a sore knee, and not the one that ended his season.
Wearing a cast and using crutches, Irving spoke to reporters Wednesday for the first time since breaking his left kneecap last week in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, an injury that seemed to doom the Cavaliers' title hopes.
Cleveland, though, has rallied without the All-Star, opening a 2-1 lead in the series over Golden State with a win in Game 3 on Tuesday night.
After being slowed by tendinitis during the postseason - he sat out two games in the Eastern Conference finals - Irving knew there were risks when he took floor in the opener. However, he said doctors told him the tendinitis did not make him more susceptible to other injuries and he wanted to play.
''Obviously, there was a risk going out there playing anyway, no matter what,'' he said. ''It was just a freak play.''
Irving said he felt good throughout the whole game.
''It wasn't about the minutes or anything like that that everyone wants to kind of speculate about,'' he said. ''It was me who decided to go out and play, put my body on the line.''
Irving said the left-to-right move he tried was something he had done ''a thousand times.'' He attempted to stop and believes he made contact with Warriors forward Klay Thompson.
The 23-year-old Irving knew immediately that his injury was serious.
''It was something I hadn't felt before, and I had to walk off the court,'' he said. ''That was it.''
Irving was in good spirits during the five-minute interview session at Quicken Loans Arena. He wore a baseball cap backwards and a black T-shirt that said: ''Killa, Champ, Menace & Drew,'' a nod to teammates Mike Miller, James Jones, Kevin Love and himself.
Irving will need at least three months to recover from the broken kneecap, a setback that will only heighten talk that he is injury prone. But he's staying positive and trying to do what he can to help his teammates finish off the Warriors and win a title.
His injury - and the one to Love's left shoulder that ended the forward's season - have made the challenge tougher on the Cavs.
''Everything that we've had to endure all season, all the goals we set, now we have to go out and accomplish it,'' Irving said. ''Now I'm just sitting back as a fan and enjoying it.''