The NBA Finals ended in dramatic fashion as the Cleveland Cavaliers became the first team in history to overturn a 3-1 deficit, as Kyrie Irving and LeBron James inspired them to an incredible comeback win over the Golden State Warriors.
The series was full of passion and intensity as the Wine and Gold picked up their first championship and gained revenge over the franchise that downed them at the same stage in 2015.
A rivalry has festered between the two organisations and emotions can sometimes boil over on the hardwood. However, now that the season is over and attentions have turned to the Olympics for some, Kyrie Irving - the only Cleveland representative on the USA roster - is happy to be chasing history with three Golden State players.
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Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green have all been selected to take part in the competition that starts in August, and Irving believes their experience will be invaluable in helping him chase history.
The point guard is aiming to be only the fourth player ever to win a ring at the beginning of the summer and cap it off by claiming gold at the Olympics. Scottie Pippen completed the feat twice in 1992 and 1996, Michael Jordan was also on the team in '92 and LeBron James became number three in 2012.
Speaking about the influence of the Dub Nation trio, Irving said: “If you look at all three of them as individuals, what they bring to their team, they’re winners. They’re also championship winners, and they know what it takes in order to sacrifice to win something big. I’m so glad we have them on the team.”
Despite the obvious respect between the players, Irving was still able to joke at their expense when Team USA first met up following the climax of the 2015/16 season.
“He had some jokes when I first saw him,” Barnes said. “We got past all that, and we’ll have fun playing on the same team.”
After a tough start to the season for Cleveland and Kyrie, in particular, the 24-year-old finally found his rhythm alongside LeBron and proved himself to be an incredibly elite and clutch player during the seven-game series with the Warriors.
That form can only bode well for Team USA and Irving admits it would be a 'dream' come true to add an Olympic gold medal to his growing collection of accolades: "It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, and I want to be a part of something bigger than myself again, other than my own team.
"It would be amazing, but I understand the amount of work that it takes to win, not just a championship, but the gold medal. Playing with USA on your chest, playing for so many people — it’s bigger than all of us. I’m glad that I could do it with these guys here.”