Irving played college basketball for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the Cavaliers in After another Finals appearance in , Irving requested a trade and was dealt to the Boston Celtics. He played as a Celtic for two seasons, after which he signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in In , he starred in the film Uncle Drew. Irving grew up in West Orange, New Jersey , where he frequently attended his father's adult-league games. In fifth grade, he was offered a scholarship to Boston University by then-head coach Dennis Wolff. Irving played for Montclair Kimberley Academy in his freshman and sophomore years in high school.
Bryant was one of the first people Irving called after he helped the Cavs win the NBA title in 2016
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Irving viewed the older Bryant as a mentor, and often went to him seeking advice on life, both on and off of the basketball court. Thus, Irving was understandably shaken by Bryant's tragic and sudden death on Sunday. He didn't comment publicly for several days, but he finally addressed Bryant's death after the Nets' win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. I don't wanna make this about me and our relationship because we all shared something really, really strong with him. There's a bond whether watching him or studying him.