The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 110-106 on Saturday night.
Generally speaking, at this point in the year you don’t get all that many memorable showdowns. This was an exception.
Although James Harden was out, Kyrie Irving was on hand to face off against MVP front runner Stephen Curry. When it was all said and done he finished with 32 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds, while Curry recorded 19 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds.
Statistically Irving won the battle, but in terms of wins and losses, Curry won the war.
After the game, Irving gave his brutally honest take on facing off against Curry.
“I love Steph Man, the guy has completely revolutionized the game….but when he caught fire man, everybody was on notice…you wouldn’t be a true student of the game if you’re not watching somebody like that.”
-Kyrie Irving on the thrill of competing against Steph Curry pic.twitter.com/Xy50o5hRET
— DaveEarly (@DavidEarly) January 30, 2022
“The guy has completely revolutionized the game. Going against each other has been great, but I think studying each other has been even more of a special bond” – Kyrie Irving on Stephen Curry pic.twitter.com/K88v18Mn4c
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) January 30, 2022
“I love Steph, man. The guy has completely revolutionized the game… He was the guy that really set that standard.”
But Irving didn’t stop there. He then went on to detail what it was about Curry’s game that really stood out.
“Catching and shooting off the dribble,” he continued. “Being able to break down his defenders and being able to take three guys with him everywhere that he goes, you wouldn’t be a true student of the game if you’re not watching somebody like that and trying to not only keep up, but challenge his position.”
Not that it needed to be said, but Irving also confirmed that there was a ton of mutual respect between the two men.
“I think that’s where our mutual respect has really grown,” the Nets star added. “Going against each other has been great, but I think studying each other has been even more of a special bond.”
The topic of who the superior point guard is between Irving and Curry has often raged in the NBA over the past few years.
Erin Andrews’ 1-word reaction to Tom Brady retiring. https://t.co/FypTyFnB8q
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 30, 2022
But it appears that the two men at the center of the debate have no interest in partaking.
They simply have too much respect for one another to denigrate the other’s accomplishments.