INDEPENDENCE: Kyrie Irving is back as Uncle Drew. This time, he's bringing a couple of old friends with him.
Irving filmed the second installment of the hit PepsiMax series in early September in Los Angeles, although some parts were also filmed in Lakewood. Pepsi signed on Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and NBA legend Bill Russell for the sequel.
Love plays Uncle Drew's old teammate, Uncle Wes, while Russell plays himself. In the first episode, no one on the court knew who Irving really was. The popularity of that video, however, made it impossible to keep Irving's identity a secret in "Uncle Drew Chapter 2." But no one knew Uncle Wes was actually Love.
"He was a great first-time actor to work with. It's a little weird saying that. I feel I have a little experience with acting," Irving joked. "I was giving him some tips. I told him to be in character and he was. He did a phenomenal job."
Irving wrote the script and directed the five-minute film. He said he came up with the idea for the character after watching a YouTube video of an elderly man walking into a skate park and dazzling the crowd with skateboarding stunts. Irving thought it would be funny to replicate it on the basketball court. Now even other NBA stars approach him and call him Uncle Drew.
As for Russell, Irving said his heart was pounding just meeting him and chatting with him. There were times, while Irving was in costume, Russell acted like he was really talking to someone else from his generation.
"He had so many stories. Sometimes I felt he was talking to an old man," Irving said. "Some of the older jokes, there were some awkward laughs like, 'I know what you're talking about, but not really.' He has a lot of wisdom. He's a really funny guy."
Irving wouldn't say whether or not there are more episodes in the works.
"You never know where Uncle Drew will show up next," he said.