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February 16, 2019

Kyrie Irving

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. Kyrie, what did you think of De'Aaron Fox last night?
KYRIE IRVING: I mean, he's an awesome player, man. Seeing what he's been able to accomplish thus far in the NBA season and just really showing growth. Passing, being able to play with a pace consistently, understanding that being in this league, it takes a lot more just than speed and athleticism, and he's starting to slow his game down. I was happy I got a chance to be in the locker room with those young guys, but especially De'Aaron. I'm going to be going against these young guys for a minute, but I'm always scouting them. I've been watching De'Aaron since he was in high school. So I am happy for him but knowing what to expect from him going forward.

Q. On inclusion
KYRIE IRVING: I mean, I think inclusion in general, I don't think there should be seen anything in terms of gender. Anybody that's capable or qualified to do anything in this world should be able to do it and be able to spread that greatness and what they have inside of them to everyone, no matter what. No matter what. Any walks of life.

So who am I to judge anybody for wanting to do that? And especially when it comes to the game I love, seeing the WNBA players, I show the utmost respect and love to them, especially Sue [Bird], Diana [Taurasi], Elena [Delle Donne], anybody that -- Brittney [Griner]. I had a chance to have a great opportunity during the Olympics to be around them every single day, having lunch, having dinner with them, and it was just awesome.

The respect is vice versa, but women run the world. That's just the truth of it. Whether men want to admit it or not, women run the world. They run the fashion industry. They keep this thing going. They keep men whole. It is what it is.

Q. Where are you health-wise?

Q. What was it like coaching [Jayson] Tatum?
KYRIE IRVING: It was awesome. I was trying to give him the MVP. He had 30 and 9, but Kuz [Kyle Kuzma] was just going for it. It was fun to be around those young guys, like I said, but those guys are the future of our league. I'm excited to be kind of in this in-between stage in my career where I get to see them develop as young players, go through, getting extensions, making multiple All-Star Games, striving for their individual goals, but also how they grow in terms of their team environments. So I'm excited.

Q. Do you have an appreciation now as a coach?
KYRIE IRVING: I have an appreciation for all coaches, just seeing what they have to do on a day-to-day basis.

Q. Were you thinking about maybe becoming a coach down the line?
KYRIE IRVING: I wasn't. If I thought about walking away from this game in my early 30s, I definitely wasn't thinking about coaching, but being around the game is something very unique for anybody that has a chance to do it, especially if you have those relationships in the league and they want to keep you around. They want to have your knowledge be imparted on the next generation. So if that opportunity approaches down the line, if I have to go get my college degree to be an NBA head coach, I will do it.

Q. What do you have to say about Dirk Nowitzki?
KYRIE IRVING: Legend. One of the best international players -- bump "international," one of the best players ever. Just came in with just a chip on his shoulder. Started from being just that skinny 7-foot shooter that nobody thought could last in the league, just a guy that plays basketball at a very high level. You look at him, and he doesn't scream at you in terms of athleticism, doesn't scream at you in terms of his build, but just a mother effer on the court. Just taking the league by storm. Averaging 27, 28, doing it in Dallas for 21 years is awesome.

You don't really see it as often in the league now with guys staying with the franchises, but to see that. Mark Cuban taking care of him for 21 years is awesome.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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