NBA draft notebook: Irving becomes third Duke player to go No. 1
Julio Cortez, Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. — Former Duke freshman guard Kyrie Irving was the first player chosen in the NBA draft Thursday night, becoming the third Blue Devil to hear his name called before any other.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers made him the first overall choice he joined Art Heyman, who was taken by the New York Knicks in 1963, and Elton Brand, the top choice of the Chicago Bulls in 1999, as Duke players tabbed No. 1.
This was the fourth time Cleveland had the first pick. In 1971, the Cavaliers selected Austin Carr of Notre Dame No. 1 overall and they followed that in 1986 by taking North Carolina's Brad Daugherty and in 2003 by taking local high school sensation LeBron James.
BACK IN JERSEY: This is the second time the NBA draft was held in New Jersey.
In 1996, just months after hosting the Final Four, the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, was the site of the draft. The Philadelphia 76ers got things started that night be selecting Allen Iverson of Georgetown No. 1.
This year's draft was held in the Prudential Center and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened it up by selecting another guard, Kyrie Irving of Duke.
INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE: Enes Kanter of Turkey, who enrolled at Kentucky but was never eligible to compete in NCAA competition, was the third overall pick by the Utah Jazz.
The 6-foot-11 Kanter was the highest picked international player since Andrea Bargnani of Italy was the overall No. 1 pick by Toronto in 2006.
Bargnani was the second international player taken No. 1, joining Yao Ming of China, who was taken by Houston in 2002.
Last year's top international pick was Kevin Seraphin of France who was taken with 17th pick by the Chicago Bulls.
Kanter's selection was greeted enthusiastically by his fellow Turks.
"The Utah Jazz' selection of Enes Kanter extends the rich bilateral basketball relationship between the United States and Turkey," Namik Tan, Turkey's ambassador to the United States said in a statement. "Enes becomes the sixth Turk to currently play in the NBA, joining Hedo Turkoglu, Mehmet Okur, Semih Erden, Omer Asik and Ersan Ilyasova. As a country, Turkey is proud of its basketball roots and its growing ranks in the NBA."
DOUBLE DIP: For the fourth time since 2000, one team had two picks in the top 10.
The Cleveland Cavaliers chose Kyrie Irving of Duke with the No. 1 pick and then took Tristan Thompson of Texas with the fourth selection.
In 2000, the Los Angeles Clippers took high schooler Darius Miles third and Missouri guard Keyon Dooling 10th. That same year the Chicago Bulls took forward Marcus Fizer of Iowa State at No. 4 and guard Jamal Crawford of Michigan at No. 8.
In 2009, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected guard Ricky Rubio of Spain with the fifth pick and took guard Jonny Flynn of Syracuse with the next pick. Rubio will begin playing for the Timberwolves this season after playing professionally at home for two seasons.
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