Kyrie Irving is one of the best guards in the NBA today. At 28 years old he is already an NBA champion, six-time All-Star, All-Star Game MVP and was twice named to the All-NBA team.
Given his impressive track record and his undeniable skill set, many fans have taken to comparing Irving to another legend: Allen Iverson.
According to Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash, however, that comparison isn’t quite apples to apples.
His rationale for this is quite interesting.
“I think Allen was special in his own right,” he said, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. “I think Kyrie is more skilled. I think Allen was different. Allen was electrifying in a different way. He got to the line a lot. Allen was a crazy competitor.
“The variety of shot making coupled with the accuracy that Kyrie has is historic. Allen is Allen. He’s one of the all-time greats. Kyrie, if you look at what he’s able to do on the court is historic too in the skill level and the way he’s able to get his.”
So far this year Irving is averaging 28.3 points per game while shooting 53.5 percent from the field, 44.7 percent from beyond the arc, and 94.8 percent from the line. From an efficiency standpoint, he has never been better.
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And to Nash’s point, Iverson never displayed that level of efficiency when it came to scoring – not even in his career-best seasons.
That said, Irving has never put a team on his shoulders and carried them the way Iverson did with the Philadelphia 76ers in his heyday. In fact, he’s behaved quite differently in the face of adversity. Those Sixers teams were awful, and by the sheer virtue of Iverson’s skills and Larry Brown’s coaching, their run peaked with an NBA Finals showing.
Given what Iverson has said about the two players that gave him the most trouble throughout his career, Nash’s regard for him shouldn’t come as a shock.
Iverson and Irving are both tremendous talents, and each will go down in league lore for their own special reasons.
Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7’s go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.