Over the years, we’ve heard a ton of players being compared to the late-great Kobe Bryant. Names like Devin Booker, DeMar DeRozan, and Jayson Tatum to name a few have been dubbed as the “Next Kobe Bryant.”
The five-time NBA Champion is known for his insane competitive drive, unrivaled work ethic and tremendous talent on the basketball court. No one really compares when you take all this into consideration, however, Lakers assistant coach, Phil Handy believes only one current NBA player is worthy of comparison.
Kyrie Irving is really one to behold. His offensive arsenal is unreal with his ability to shoot from anywhere, finish at the rim with either hand, and his incredible ball handling skills.
Handy knows what he’s talking about since he witnessed first-hand the likes of Kobe and Kyrie. The 50-year-old was first a development coach with Los Angeles from 2011-2013 and then was an assistant coach in Cleveland from 2013-2018.
The former number one overall pick is probably the closest to Kobe’s talent on the offensive side, but there’s no comparison when you’re talking about the defensive end.
Kobe was named to NBA All-Defense team 12 times with 9 of those 12 being in the first team. Kyrie has never sniffed an NBA All-Defense team.
However, you can’t be mad at that comparison and we know Irving was being mentored by Bryant during their time on the Olympic team together.
Irving’s name has been in the news all summer long. The offseason has been chock full of speculation of whether or not he’s going to remain a Brooklyn Net or be sent off to Los Angeles to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Even though that is still in question, it’s no secret that LA would love to add the seven-time All-Star and one of the best offensive guards in recent memory.