NBA champion Kyrie Irving talks about his love of skateboarding

NBA star Kyrie Irving is many things: he’s an NBA champion, a four-time NBA all-star, the 2012 NBA Rookie of the Year, an Olympic gold medalist and a skateboarder.

While Irving is having a bit of a tumultuous summer after his demanding a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, he recently spoke to Hypebeast on a variety of topics while in Tokyo. One of the subjects they eventually got to in the interview was skateboarding, and Irving’s love and respect for it.

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When asked about any hobbies he has, Irving told Hypebeast that he skates. He then went on to elaborate about one of his favorite hobbies:

“I’m definitely not into the pro level or anything like that at all. I can drop in and probably do a kick flip if I tried 50 million times. When I was probably around fifth grade, I tried to ollie over a rock and I ended up hitting my knee on the rock. So from that point I stopped skating, but I’ve always had a love for it and the culture, and what it represents. Being able to do all that stuff and balance and utilize your body to perform tricks like that, and going off ramps, and falling over and over again and still getting up and trying. They’re trying to clear 20 steps doing a wild trick and you’re just watching. It’s nothing but respect. They end up getting up because that’s what they love to do. Like genuinely they love to skate and go to different places and you end up meeting different people. Skating can bring you different places just like basketball, so it’s given me an opportunity to meet a lot of great people from that culture.”

We imagine that Irving doesn’t do much skateboarding these days, as professional athletes are typically barred contractually from participating in risky activities that could cause injury — but hopefully that’s not the case with skateboarding.

Irving, a Nike athlete, has been known to hang out with Eric Koston and even skate The Berrics, as he did back in his early days of being an NBA player.

While Irving might not be “into the pro level or anything like that,” he certainly does hang out and skate with them.

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