Kyrie Irving was the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He spent 6 years playing for the Cavs, winning a championship with them in 2016. He was then traded to the Boston Celtics where he spent 2 years before signing with the Brooklyn Nets. Kyrie has earned a reputation in the league as one of the most prolific scorers/most creative handler player. He can shoot the ball from pretty much anywhere, he can get to any of his spots, he can weave his way to the basket, and if all else fails, he can still shoot the ball with defenders in his face. In theory, any team should do anything in their power to keep a player of Kyrie’s talent on the team and build around him. So why would a player who could easily average 25 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds on 47% shooting, not be considered amongst the top 5 point guard?
In the modern era of basketball, point guards is without a doubt the most impactful position in the league today. There are plenty of high quality guards on nearly every team. But not all are as elite as Kyrie. But let’s look at some players that are in the conversation, players like:
- Stephen Curry
- James Harden
- Trae Young
- Damian Lillard
- Russell Westbrook
- Chris Paul
Without a doubt, Curry and Lillard sits well above Kyrie. Harden may be listed as a shooting guard, but he plays as a combo guard who handles the ball and facilitate the offense just as well, if not better than most of the other point guards. Chris Paul and Trae Young may not be as talented or as skilled as Kyrie, but their impact on their team far exceeds what Kyrie has brought to any of the teams he played for. Chris Paul has brought a young and highly doubted OKC team into the playoffs and brought the Suns to the finals. Trae Young brought the Hawks to the conference finals over the first seeded 76ers. Kyrie has yet LEAD a team to anything significant. I would value a player’s impact on the team way more than how many buckets Kyrie can get on a losing night. Russell Westbrook has yet to play in a team that is well put together since his time playing in OKC with Kevin Durant and Paul George. I don’t hold him accountable for his time with the Rockets, since it was an extreme experiment of Mike D’Antoni and his obsession with minimal defense and all-in offense. And his time with the Wizards had no support for him and Bradley Beal. Even though Westbrook has yet to put up results, I know that Westbrook will do everything in his power to play with 100%. Kyrie on the other hand cannot seem to remain healthy and his health is always in question every year. Plus his recent antics with his beliefs and feelings is starting to raise concerns for the Nets because he has on occasions stopped playing for a period of time without warning. So I would rather have a player that I can rely on versus a player who can leave at any moment depending on how he feels.
Disclaimer: Kyrie Is A Top 3 TALENT
This is not to question whether Kyrie is a better or worst player than anyone else. Kyrie is without a doubt a great player however, what separate a great player and a talented one is the great player can do play at a high level every game consistently. Kyrie has yet to remain on the court during the playoffs, especially in the later rounds. This means that Kyrie can bring a team into the playoffs, but it would be for nothing if he can make an impact during the finals, or even the conference finals. The Nets is expected to all play healthy this year, so if Kyrie can play for most of the regular season and not get seriously injured during the playoffs, I would considered Kyrie a top 5 point guard. Until than, we wait for the season to begin
We appreciate y’all for letting us be a part of your Break Time.
Signing off, JT