America stunned by historic freak show
Kyrie Irving, welcome to New York.
The NBA star made history in his first game for the Nets, lighting up the Barclays Centre in front of an adoring new home crowd in the Big Apple against the Minnesota Timberwolves as he showed off in the teams' season opener.
Unfortunately for the locals Minnesota prevailed in an overtime nailbiter 127-126 but Irving was running hot as he single-handedly kept the Nets in the game with a whopping 50 points to go with seven assists and eight rebounds.
Just as impressive, he didn't record a single turnover.Stream over 50 sports live & anytime with KAYO on your TV, mobile, tablet or laptop. Just $25/month with no lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial
The 27-year-old became the first player in Nets history to drain 40 points in a season-opener as he tormented the T'Wolves from inside and outside the arc, finishing 17/33 from the field, 7/14 on three-point attempts and going 9/10 at the free-throw line.
Irving became just the third player to score 40 or more points on debut for a new team, joining Kiki Vandeweghe (1984) and Wilt Chamberlain (1959) in the illustrious club. He then went even further by scoring an NBA-record number of points on debut en route to cracking the half century mark.
Vandeweghe previously held the record with 47.
The only thing that would have made Irving's first appearance for his new franchise even more spectacular is if he had been able to drain a buzzer-beater and seal a memorable victory. But going it alone as the clock ticked down to zero he fell over, regained his feet and launched a shot that bounced off the rim then the backboard to confirm the Timberwolves' win.
As Irving went on his rampage, America was in awe.
Irving made a name for himself as LeBron James' partner in crime in Cleveland but after six seasons at the Cavaliers, and sick of playing Robin to LeBron's Batman, he moved to Boston. However, two fruitless seasons saw him part ways on bitter terms with the Celtics.
He copped heavy criticism for the team's underwhelming campaign last season when much was expected of it, losing in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs to Milwaukee.
But Irving has clearly put those demons behind him and is ready to make his mark in the city that never sleeps.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 36 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, and Andrew Wiggins finished with 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:19 remaining.
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