Allen Iverson vs. Kyrie Irving. How Close Really Is the Comparison?

Did he just say that?

Is Kevin Durant really trying to make that comparison already?

In case you haven’t heard, Durant continues to hog the national spotlight after becoming an NBA Champion, and this time it isn’t about his own game or fairy tale journey. Instead, this time, Durant shined the spotlight on Kyrie Irving and Allen Iverson.

Unless you weren’t paying attention to the action during these unwatchable NBA Playoff games, you would’ve missed Irving’s undeniable skill to create his own shot and get to the rim. The entire NBA Finals bled through the veins of Durant and LeBron James, but the unsung hero was undoubtedly Irving. The grace in which he drove to the basket and created his own shot off the dribble reminded many, Durant included, of the sensational “Answer”.

The comparison created a ton of traction as soon as the NBA Finals MVP mentioned it on The Bill Simmons Podcast this past week. Here’s what he had to say:

“I was telling some of my friends after Game 2, [Kyrie] just makes you happy when you watch him play. You just smile when you watch him play because for somebody to be that skilled, you know he had to work tirelessly at it. The stuff he has in his package is next level stuff that you can try to teach your kids to do it, but you’ll never be able to do it.

“I’ve never seen somebody block his layup, and he’s 6’2″. I’ve never seen one person pin his layup on the glass, not one, because the spin he got on it and he don’t have to look at it. I just got so much respect for him because I know how much work he put in to be that good. I never seen nobody like him.”

Durant could’ve stopped there, but decided to elaborate further. He opened up more by admitting he thought Irving is better than Iverson.

“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.”

In today’s day and age of the “ankle-breaker” trend, you can certainly see why the comparison has been made. Both of these players have an unmatched ability to make defenders look silly, while using their smaller stature to be able to finish their shot whether it be at or away from the rim. Either way, the excitement that both players bring with the ball in their hands is something that needs to be witnessed and observed. It was and is nothing short of breathtaking.

If you do a side-by-side comparison and look at points alone, Iverson (26.7 PPG) gets the edge over Irving (21.6 PPG). Obviously, we can get into scoring titles, MVPs and All-Star appearances, but it wouldn’t be fair to go down that road just yet.

In my opinion, as a writer and a fan, Iverson will forever be labeled as one of the best, if not the best, undersized guards to ever play this game. His tenacity and persistence gave him the uncanny ability to be that much better than all of the rest on the court. In the same facet, Irving is starting to lay the same claim. Right now I go AI, but only because it’s too early in Irving’s career.

What are your thoughts on the comparison?


As always you can stop by my Facebook page (FantasySportsAddiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!

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