Come out of nowhere: How to become as explosive as Kyrie Irving in 5 weeks

Lifestyle, Sports

Even though I’m a die-hard for the purple and gold, I’ve been a mini fan of Kyrie Irving since he entered the league.

For one, he’s got great handles. For a guard like me it’s fun watching his highlights and how he breaks down and humiliates the players guarding him with his fancy dribbling. Another reason why I love his game is because he’s very creative in scoring and creating his own shot. For someone who’s not that tall, I rely on my speed to one up my opponents. In the same sense, Kyrie also uses his quickness to his advantage to outsmart his defenders.

The Nike Kyrie 3 complements Irving’s playing style the same way beer complements pizza. A while back I wrote how amazing the look and feel of the Kyrie 3 is.


How to train like Kyrie Irving

Lifestyle, Sports

First published on Sports Illustrated Philippines

Kyrie Irving is a world champion and bonafide NBA superstar. Kids look up to him because he’s a great scorer and can handle the ball with creativity and quickness.

The latest release off his signature show line, the Nike Kyrie 3, was built to handle Irving’s explosive and flashy playing style.

Yes the shoes are a tool to help Irving move better on the court, but it’s really about the work he puts in behind the scenes that make him become a great basketball player.

During one of our Kyrie Challenge training sessions on January 21, coach Yuri Escueta emphasized the importance of repetition, mastering basic exercises and dribbling skills to become as explosive as the Cavaliers superstar.

“More on repetition of the exercises para lumakas yung muscles. Yung explosiveness mo makukuha mo sa quad muscles mo, sa hamstrings, sa legs and sa core mo. Pag lumakas siya mas magiging explosive ka,” said Escueta.


We put the Kyrie 3 to the test throughout our workouts, and so far I can say the shoes are great for players who rely on their speed and ball handling, because it’s got amazing traction and responds well to quick attacks and unpredictable lateral movements.

So apart from wearing the shoes, if you want to become as explosive as Kyrie Irving you have to work on the same execrises he does that concentrate on explosiveness.

Here’s the complete 45-minute Kyrie Irving workout, taken from the Nike+ Training Club app.



  • 20 knee hugs
  • 20 dynamic quadriceps stretch (alternating)
  • 10 hip cradles (alternating)
  • 30 a-skips
  • 30 lateral shuffle
  • 30 carioca
  • 20 reverse lunge reaches
  • 20 hip lifts
  • 20 hip lift march (alternating)

Lower body strength (3x)

  • 10 kettlebell front squats (heavy weights)
  • 12 dumbbell step-ups (alternating)
  • 8 lateral bounds

Core (2x)

  • 30 high plank shoulder taps
  • 20 pendulum legs

Upper body strength (3x)

  • 8 three point dumbbell rows (left arm and right arm)
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 16 T push-ups


  • 50 run in place
  • 40 mountain climbers
  • 30 stance switches
  • 20 quick feet in and outs
  • 10 lateral jump burpees


  • 10 lateral hip openers
  • 1 min. kneeling quadriceps stretch (each for left and right leg)
  • 30 sec. figure four stretch (each for left and right leg)
  • 30 sec. side lying T stretch (left arm)
  • 1 min. lower back stretch (left side)
  • 30 sec. side lying T stretch (right arm)
  • 1 min. lower back stretch (right side)
  • 30 sec. dynamic chest stretch

Photo from Cavs/Twitter

For Tab Baldwin, it’s all about the fundamentals


Last Saturday, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I got to try on the recently launched Nike Kyrie 3 — the latest shoe from Kyrie Irving’s signature line.

We know how explosive and creative Kyrie can be on the court. He’s breaking ankles here and there, trying to escape defenders with his unpredictable crossovers and insane handles. It’s all fun to watch and entertaining, but before you even think about emulating Kyrie’s moves you might want to lock down the basics first.

During our Kyrie 3 training session, Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin stressed the importance of knowing the basics and mastering the fundamentals.

“You can’t really play the game well unless you can play it fundamentally ,and that’s proven at every level,” Baldwin told me. “Good basketball players will always try to exploit players with weak fundamentals in some areas.”

The former Gilas coach said he has been preaching and convincing basketball athletes all his career that the first thing players shouldn’t do when they walk into a gym is pick up a ball and start shooting.

“There’s so many other things you have to master because actually when you’re playing the game you spend very little time with the ball in your hands. You spend a lot of your time playing defense, and moving and cutting and spacing,” he explained.


Once you master the fundamentals you have the potential to become a complete basketball player, which for Baldwin is “a guy that’s comfortable anywhere on the court, offensively and defensively.”

“If he catches the ball in traffic and around the basket, he has the ability to manuever through that whether it’s to power up for a shot or getting something clever up to the ring, or whether it’s just to get out of the traffic and be safe with the ball and make a pass out,” he explained.

“Same thing if you’ve got a guy 90 feet from the basket being pressed and he’s a big man, does he have to give the ball to a guard or can he bring the ball up the floor? By the same token, can you shoot it from the perimeter or are you a guy that a coach says, ‘We don’t want you shooting there, get close to the basket.’

“For me a guy that’s a complete player has a skill set that allows him to play anywhere on the floor under any circumstances but also can think the game.”

So kids, before you even try to copy all the moves you’ve seen Kyrie’s done on YouTube highlights, make sure you put in the time to practice the fundamentals and become an expert on the basics.


The Nike Kyrie 3 is available at Nike and Titan outlets for P6,295.

Read my review on the Kyrie 3 here:

Sneaker Review: Nike Kyrie 3 “Hot Punch”


The latest shoe from Kyrie Irving’s signature line, KYRIE 3, was released last month, but the “Hot Punch” colorway — taking from the Cavs’ win and gold uniforms — just came out yesterday.

The box of the Kyrie 3 is enticing to look at, an ensemble of different shades of green. All glossy, like a present wrapped in expensive Christmas gift wrapper.



I’ve only seen the Kyrie 3 from photos off the Internet, so it was cool to finally see them up close when I opened the box.

You immediately notice the pink swoosh, clearly dominated by the crimson red. The Kyrie 3 returns with its mid top silhouette, the entire upper made of a unique and Mystique-like texture.

It features a forefront band made from Flywire cables and a curved outsole. A pair of traction pods and a Nike Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning highlight the bottom of the sneakers.

The Kyrie 3 also pays homage to Irving’s family with roman numerals on the insoles which represent his mother’s birthday. The names Azurie and Elizabeth on the heel, meanwhile, represent his daughter and mother, respectively.

You can also see a pair of acronyms in the Kyrie 3, JBY and H+H, which represent Irving’s personal mottos — Just Be You and Hungry and Humble.


The Kyrie 3 fits true-to-size, so that’s a plus — my feet concealed snugly in when I put them on.

Though I have yet to try them in a full game experience, the sneakers were good as advertised with footwork drills. The traction pods enhanced the grip on the floor, allowing me to move quickly and giving me the ability to stop on a dime — great for crossovers and step backs.

Because of his insane handles, Irving’s footwork is unpredictable but this Kyrie model works well with movements that test one’s speed and agility. You lose no balance — locked down for quick and sharp cuts, while also maintaining explosiveness.

The cushioning isn’t the best out there, but props to Nike for doing a great job on the overall traction experience of the Kyrie 3.


The Kyrie 3 was specifically made to cater Irving’s playing style, that’s why it’s perfect for players who depend on lateral movements when they play basketball. And the traction is impressive.

Plus, these bad boys aren’t that expensive. It’s one of the cheaper signature lines of Nike Basketball, a pair will cost you P6,295.

Look: Nike unveils Kyrie 3


When we think of players with great handles, we think about what they do with their hands. However, it is their feet that often deserve the most credit for a killer crossover or slash through the lane.

Designed for Kyrie Irving’s awe-inspiring agility and speed, the KYRIE 3 advances understanding of court response and traction for quick-cutting basketball players across a variety of positions.

Irving breaks down how the shoe works for him, and what he learned through the design process:

It’s a different lace form that allows you to keep your forefoot down and stay locked in. The team at Nike shows me pictures of me on court and my foot is at an unbelievable angle. I’m crossing over somebody and my body angle and positioning is so abnormal, even when I look at it. I’m kind of amazed, because I’m thinking, all I did was a simple cross over here, but my foot is dang near touching the ground horizontally. I want to have technology in this shoe that is fit for those moments. The shoe is lightweight, comfortable and always keeps me locked down.


The traction pods are unbelievable. How responsive they are on the floor. Starting and stopping and going and picking up from behind-the-back crossover, and you start and stop on a dime while your defenders shoes are still going forward. That can be the biggest difference. This game is separated by very finite moments where you have to get your shot off. My shoe speaks to that. Being able to stop on a dime and cross over and go another direction, I can’t wait for players to try it.

Subtleties of playing style are not all that inspire Irving’s third signature shoe, elements of his personality come through as well — “JBY” and “H+H” adorn the tongue top. Irving explains why:

JBY, just be you is the motto I live by every single day because I’m happy to be an individual. I celebrate it. I think that everyone should celebrate their individuality. In our culture today, everyone is always wanting to put the other person down for trying something different, or trying something new. As for me, I want it to be celebrated. It’s a beautiful thing.


Hungry and humble is something my Dad gave me as a kid that I most likely will give to my daughter, whether she plays sports or not. It’s always staying hungry for more and never being satisfied. Acknowledging the present moment, what you’ve accomplished, and then thinking about what’s up ahead and how you’ll prepare yourself for that. Then of course the humility part. It’s supposed to go unnoticed, your humility. You’re supposed to be humble, you’re supposed to show respect to other human beings, to anyone. You respect other people’s journeys, and also you respect your own.

Additional design subtleties representing elements of Irving’s life come to life on the shoe. Hidden references to Irving’s late mother, Elizabeth include roman numerals VIII and XIII mimicking tattoo’s on Irving’s left and right wrists that are on each sockliner and visible each time he laces up. Its Irving’s family-first philosophy that also pays tribute to his young daughter Azurie on a small frame around the visible Zoom Air unit in the heel.

The KYRIE 3 “Black Ice” colorway is available for P 6,295 starting December 26 exclusively at