LOS ANGELES – With Tinseltown as the backdrop, Kyrie Irving’s acting debut in the film, "Uncle Drew the Movie," will officially hit movie theaters this summer.
A five-time All-star and NBA champion, Irving is one of the few NBA players with a signature shoe deal.
And that deal, along with him venturing into the film game, speaks to the ever-expansion of the Irving brand. During Saturday’s media scrum, a time when the sports journalism world chimes in with a wide array of questions for the best players on the planet, some of the first ones asked were in regards to his upcoming movie.
They came from former Celtic Nate Robinson, who is in the movie as well.
That said, it still doesn’t diminish the fact that Irving is setting himself up to be more than just a talented basketball player.
“It comes with a lot of sacrifice, privacy,” Irving said before adding, “but you get a chance to put your creative influence and inspiration on things that have helped you develop as a person. You get to share that with the world. That’s pretty awesome. And you get to share it through art, through my game, through different avenues of sponsorship and you’re able to get that message through to people. That’s pretty awesome. I try to take full advantage of that.”
Part of Irving’s all-star weekend was spending time with the press to speak specifically about his upcoming movie.
Irving also made public appearances for corporate partners such as Mountain Dew.
There was a time not that long ago when the idea of an athlete having interests outside of basketball were frowned upon.
But Irving has been moving to a different beat for as long as he has been playing the game of basketball.
And that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
“Sometimes because of the way we’re put on this platform, people have opinions on the way that we should be, how we should act, things that we should be involved with,” Irving said. “The important thing that get’s glazed over is that we’re human beings. So, it’s pretty tough finding that balance.
Irving added, "For me, it’s just about respect all people. That’s something I always try to hammer home, something I was taught as a kid. It’s crazy. You get slack for saying stuff about certain things and feeling strongly, and if you don’t say enough you get the bad end of that as well. If you feel confident and you’re knowledgeable on a lot of things and you feel strongly about it, you should go for it. Everyone has a voice and they should be respected.”