Kevin Durant appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast and offered some high praise for Kyrie Irving.
Kevin Durant appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast and offered some high praise for Kyrie Irving in an episode released Wednesday.
Durant and Simmons spoke for an extended interview, but keyed in on Irving around the 34-minute mark. Durant had nothing but good things to say about his Cavaliers counterpart, who had plenty of remarkable moments during the Finals despite the Warriors winning the title in seven games.
“I was telling some of my friends after Game 2, Kyrie just makes you happy when you watch him play,” Durant said. “You just smile when you watch him play. For someobdy to be that skilled, you know he had to work tirelessly at it...the stuff he has in his [layup] package is next level stuff that you can try to teach your kids...but [they’ll] never be able to do it. I’ve never seen anybody block his layup, and he’s 6'2"...the spin he got on it, and he don’t have to look at it...I got so much respect for him because I know how much work he had to do to be that good.”
Later on, Allen Iverson came up as a point of comparison, and Durant offered his opinon. “Kyrie’s better than A.I. to me. Skill for skill, his handle is better...I feel like Kyrie got more skill. I’m sorry.” Durant clarified he didn’t mean it as a knock on Iverson.
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From watching the Finals, Irving and Iverson did become a natural point of comparison, with each player arguably the dominant shoot-first point guard of their era (Steph Curry could fall into that category as a scorer, but his unselfishness with the ball sort of precludes him from the argument.
It’s worth pondering, at the least.