Memo To Durant: Kyrie Irving Is Not Better Than Allen Iverson

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What’s up with Kevin Durant? He’s already won the championship. He was named Finals MVP. And yet here he is making crazy claims such as this:

“Kyrie is better than AI to me. I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better. We might have to cut that out—I don’t want no problems with AI. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill.”

No, KD. Kyrie Irving is not better than Allen Iverson. Just look at the stats:

The only thing Kyrie is better at than Iverson, skill for skill, is shooting. ‘The Answer’ did better in almost all other categories. AI scored more points and went to the free-throw line more. He also had more steals, assists, and rebounds than Kyrie. And this includes Iverson’s stops in Denver, Detroit, and Memphis when he was on an inevitable decline.

AI also started out in the league stronger than Kyrie, posting averages of 23.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebound, and 2.1 assists per game during his rookie year. This was marginally better than Kyrie’s first year in the league when he averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 steals per game.

You don’t go claiming someone is better just because he broke some of your teammates’ ankles. You talk about having handles? Do you remember what AI did to Kyrie’s head coach? To Michael Jordan? To Antonio Daniels? Watch this video and tell us you aren’t impressed:

The Answer was already making people look stupid in the NBA when Kyrie was just four years old that if the crossover had a logo, it would be molded after the image of Allen Iverson.

If you need more proof about Iverson’s skills, check out his Hall of Fame achievements:

-MVP
-11x All-Star (11 years straight), 2x All-Star Game MVP
-3x All-NBA First Team
-3x All-NBA Second Team
-Rookie of the Year
-4x NBA Scoring Champion (24th all-time)
-3x NBA Steals Leader (12th all-time)
-Had his jersey number retired by the 76ers (alongside Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Maurice Cheeks, and Julius Erving)
-Has a very cool nickname
-Credited for starting the shooting sleeve trend (even KD’s teammate, Steph Curry, admitted that we wanted to be like Iverson)
-Credited for the now mandatory NBA dress code
-Best cornrows in NBA history
-Has been rapped about by virtually every rapper that matters in the last two decades (Puff Daddy, Big Pun, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Fat Joe, Jay Z)
-Dunked on Marcus Camby
-Carried a team to the Finals without the help of a second (or third) superstar

On the other hand, here are Kyrie’s so far:

-NBA Champion (but this is mostly because of LeBron)
-4x NBA All-Star, MVP once
-All-NBA Third Team
-Rookie of the Year
-Three-point shootout champion
-Third most influential person from Melbourne, Australia (after Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and Kylie Minogue)

Kevin Durant has been saying some questionable things lately (including his rant about the Warriors not being a superteam), which leads us to believe that he might be steering the conversation away from one of the most undeserved championships in NBA history. 

Let’s make one thing clear: we’re not saying that Kyrie is not a great player. He is and is still improving. But to say that he is better than Iverson now, even if you qualify it as “skill for skill,” is an unwarranted swipe at probably the greatest player, pound-for-pound, who ever played this game.

Iverson’s list of accolades and the legacy he has left behind in the league (and even outside of it) is enough to tell us that Iverson is one of the best and most influential people that ever played in the NBA, and that Durant is dead wrong. There is absolutely no way Kyrie is better than Iverson. Not skill for skill, not by any other measure.

 



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