Kyrie Irving Might Play For Australia At 2012 Olympics

In the coming weeks, Cavaliers rookie Kyrie Irving will have a big decision to make. The repercussions from it could follow him the rest of his career. Irving was born in Australia while his father, Drederick, played professional basketball there, and as a result has dual citizenship. He has publicly flirted with the idea of playing for Australia in the 2012 London Olympics and reiterated Friday he hasn’t made up his mind. “Still haven’t decided,” Irving said. “Really it will come down to whether or not I want to give up my whole summer.” It also comes down to his future intentions with Team USA, which just so happens to be led by his old college coach, Mike Krzyzewski. If Irving plays with Australia this summer, he would likely be ineligible to ever play with the Americans. As it stands, Irving still has to be cleared by FIBA before he could play with Australia since he was part of the United States’ U-18 team last year. Irving said Friday he thought it was only a matter of paperwork, and if he chose to play with Australia, it wouldn’t be much of an issue. Cavaliers coach Byron Scott was surprised to hear of Irving’s dual citizenship and opportunity to play with Australia, but said this isn’t the type of decision to make quickly or flippantly. While Irving isn’t under consideration for Team USA this summer, if he continues to progress as expected, he would likely be a strong candidate to play for the United States in 2016. Scott said he would counsel Irving not to rush into a decision he might later regret. “For a 19-year-old, that’s a big decision,” Scott said. “He obviously needs to get as much advice as he can from a lot of people that he trusts and believes in. I know he talks to Chris Paul and Grant Hill and guys like that [former Olympians]. I would seek their advice. Talk to his dad. I don’t think it’s something he’s going to take lightly and it’s something he should make sure he takes his sweet time on.” Australia earned an automatic qualification for Olympic basketball by winning FIBA’s Oceania Championship in September. Olympic basketball begins July 28 and continues until Aug. 12 this summer. Video not available
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