You think about LeBron James, the best player in the game.
You think about Kevin Love, the guy the Cleveland Cavaliers just sent two straight No. 1 overall picks and another first rounder to Minnesota for.
But, dare I say, Kyrie Irving might just be on that level too.
On Sunday, the guy who has played third wheel as the hype machine in Cleveland has got going, won the MVP of the FIBA World Cup while scoring 26 points to lead the USA to gold.
Backup Derrick Rose didn't even score and was 1 for 19 from 3-point range in the tournament while Irving made all six of his 3-pointers in the finale, a 129-92 win over Serbia.
What's it mean?
Many of the NBA's big names, like James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, stayed home. Irving, however, became the face of USA basketball as the team dominated its way to a title and Irving went 10 of 13 from the field in the title game.
At 22, he was also an All-Star Game MVP this season and signed a five-year, $90 million deal.
Irving is a gamer and he probably hasn't even reached his pinnacle yet.
"Kyrie Irving's getting the most important game action of his life right now," Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said to Cleveland.com. "He's getting better literally every day. He showed up trying to make that team and he appears to be at least the part-time starter now. He's earning his stripes when it matters. It's going to be enormously valuable to us."
And … in Cleveland
Last year didn't end great for Irving, and he was criticized for his declining stats and his role in coach Mike Brown's firing and the fans were frustrated.
I finished the season strong, we all finished the season strong with one another, and it's a brotherhood here,” Irving told Cleveland.com as the team cleared its locker room. "That's the only thing I'm worried about – taking my game to the next level with my teammates."
Will they be better?
LeBron won two titles in four years in Miami with what was dubbed the Big 3 with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Cleveland's Big 3 of Irving, Love and James is better.
Wade was struggling through injuries for much of James' time there, Irving is peaking. That's the biggest difference, along with Love being a better all-around player than Bosh.
That means, over the next four seasons, the Cavs will be expected to win at least three titles.
Don't be surprised if they do, and don't be surprised if Irving wins more MVP awards along the way.
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