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February 18, 2018

Kyrie Irving

Los Angeles, California - Postgame

Team LeBron - 148, Team Stephen - 145

Q. How encouraging was it for this game to be so competitive and the fact that especially like the camaraderie, the instant camaraderie with your teammates, how gratifying was it?
KYRIE IRVING: The hope is that it's only going to get better. This was pretty fun. I think that we showcased that tonight with an incredible competitive spirit. The game was kind of getting away, but I think a few of us took it a little personal that we wanted to keep the game still competitive and at a high level. Fans and everyone across so many different countries want to see the best players in the world showcase their talent.

So that lasts about eight minutes, nine minutes. That was extremely fun. You love that type of basketball, and the fact that we're asking for instant replays in the All-Star Game and guys are just going at it. It was -- truly appreciative that I could be a part of it, and I think the NBA kind of hit it right on the head. They did a great job of trying to figure out the way to get the most out of us and the most out of this weekend.

Q. Kyrie, on the play where you threw it to LeBron to give your team a one-point lead, who designed that play, who was behind it, and it was an after-timeout play, I think?
KYRIE IRVING: I played with him a few times. I cut back door, Russ was driving, I saw the opportunity. I saw, before even Russ even passed to me, LeBron was going to circle to the rim, and one of the best finishers at the rim.

So it was kind of an easy drop-off to give us that lead. So we've done it plenty of times before, so nothing new.

Q. Beyond just this individual game, did the format influence this? I mean, why do you think it came together like that?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, I think there was a goal that you wanted to attain. There was something that -- something that we could look forward to if we got a win. I can't say that -- you know, they'll probably bring up the cash prize, but -- (laughing) $100,000 to $25,000, I think everybody in this room would be doing the same things we were doing.

I think it did give some incentive, but also surrounding and circulating kind of the opinions of what the All-Star Game has kind of turned into, I think we all took it kind of personal. Individually we wanted to come out and be competitive. Last year it was like 190-something to -- (192-182), that's just not as fun as communicating with guys that you don't necessarily play with every single day, bouncing ideas off in the timeouts. It's just that competitive fire that we all share.

Q. Heading into the game, was there any concern about the mixing of conferences on the rosters, what that would do for camaraderie? Mixing the rosters, East and West, was there any concern about diluting the rivalries within that heading into the game? What is your take now after the game?
KYRIE IRVING: I think it worked. I think it worked pretty well. The fact that you get a chance to see that mix of inner-conference rivals and East-West is pretty awesome. Because you get the unique opportunity to get to know people that you don't necessarily get to play against four times a year, three times a year.

You know, then there's always that personal challenge as well of wanting to show guys what you can do that don't get to see you on a regular basis. I think it worked. I think we gave it what we had tonight.

Q. To follow up on that question. LeBron seemed a lot more engaged both on the floor and off the floor. Was that an aspect of this new format that maybe made it different? He wouldn't have been able to maybe do that in the old All-Star format, maybe be a little more differential to his team. This was kind of his team, the other team was Steph's team. Was that it or we would have gotten the same result just with more effort and intensity the old way?
KYRIE IRVING: I think he could probably answer that question a little better than I can answer for him. I think that having the captains and selecting the guys and being able to mix them up gave it a more authentic feel of kind of what us players want to be part of in an All-Star Game.

It's great to play with guys in your conference, East-West. But when you get a chance to have Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and you know they're teammates already, and then you mix them with myself, and Kemba, and LeBron, and you could see the mix and it just worked.

Q. Apart from the game, it was very entertaining, good and competitive, glad to see that. But while you were here, Kyrie, your outreach to the community was well anticipated and well received. Could you talk a little bit about how you personally were involved along with the players?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, it's incredible when you can have the impact off the floor as well. Kind of share a great message that can inspire the next generation. They're going to be our leaders one day, and you want to continue to have an incredible influence, whether that be through our social platform or in the flesh, it's great. Just love not only giving back to just the NBA community but all communities. We're all one at the end of the day, so it's always great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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