BEREA -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and
forward Tristan Thompson visited the Browns' Berea training
facility and spoke with the team's 2012 rookie class on
BEREA -- The Cleveland Browns had two special guests at
the Berea training facility on Monday morning: Cleveland
Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving and power forward
Irving, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, and Thompson
were in Berea Monday to speak with the Browns rookies,
who are in town through the end of June. Both Irving and
Thompson finished their rookie seasons in the NBA this
"Coming in and talking to them, it was kind of weird
knowing they are all older than me, but I feel like I
could offer them the same advice, no matter how old I am,
to really embrace Cleveland," Irving said. "Cleveland
people love their sports. They're die-hard fans and you
just have to embrace that. I feel like what you put into
Cleveland is what you're going to get out of it."
Thompson's message to the Browns rookies dealt with
"finding a niche" during their first year in the NFL.
"The key is finding what you did well, keep it consistent
and I think that's going to help you be successful,"
Thompson said. "First and foremost, be a pro, be first
class. Do your work in a first-class way, be respectful
of the game and work every day on your game to get
Irving was honored as the NBA's top rookie after he
averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 1.06 steals in 51
games in the lockout-shortened season. Despite missing 15
games due to injury, Irving connected on 46.9 percent of
his field goals, 39.9 percent of his three-point attempts
and made 87.2 percent of his free throws.
Thompson played in 60 games, made the start in 25, and
averaged 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.03 blocks for the
Thompson was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NBA
Draft and knows what expectations could lay ahead for
Browns running back . Richardson was the No. 3 overall
pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
"I think he has an understanding of the game," Thompson
said. "He knows to go out and play. Talking to him and
having a feel for how he is as a person, I don't think he
feels pressure at all. I think he knows what he needs to
do and he's going to be great for the Browns this year."
In addition to speaking with the rookies, Irving and
Thompson had the opportunity to tour the facility and
were presented with their own personalized Browns
jerseys, complete with their basketball numbers and names
stitched into the uniforms.
Both Cavaliers players walked away from Berea with
"I know it's probably one of the best ones in the NFL,"
Thompson said of the facility. "The people here are
great, just like the Cavs. Everyone wants just to see
success and I think they have a good plan, blueprint. The
coach is great. The rookies are going to do well. I'm
excited I could come here and talk."
Irving added, "I know a few Browns players and watching
their games, you know they're hard-fought and they give
it all, all the time. They always give themselves a
chance to win and it's good to see. They're out there
competing every day, just like we're out there competing
on the floor just for the city of Cleveland. It's a good
sight to see."
For Irving, another good sight was that of third-year
Browns defensive back . Haden is an avid supporter of all
teams Cleveland and has made appearances at Cleveland
Indians and Cavs games. Haden has also taken in some Lake
Erie Monsters hockey games at Quicken Loans Arena.
According to Irving, Haden was one of the first guys he
met after being drafted by the Cavaliers.
"He told me before the season, when we were in a lockout,
that he was going to come to a couple games just like me,
having my sleeve on with my socks and my knee pads,"
Irving said. "It's a good feeling to know to just look to
my right, across from the bench, and there's Joe in a
full Cavs uniform and my jersey."