Kyrie Irving’s talent and skill cannot be denied. It may be controversial, but the 2016 championship is a walk-off bucket with the type of catch any hopper dreams of.
It’s not just the opinion of your favorite hopper or NBA fan. Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy had high praise for the Brooklyn Nets star.
“I’m going to go on the record and say this,” Handy said. “He’s probably the best player I’ve ever played with. Offensively, he’s probably a player who’s never worn basketball shoes.
“He’s a very good basketball player.”
– Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy on Kyrie Irving 😳 pic.twitter.com/7kYivjBGjP
– 🤴🏿⁶ (@JP3Visualz) August 17, 2022
Irving is perhaps best known as the best “iso” scorer of his generation. Irving has the kind of skill level and talent you’d want your beloved Hopper to have. The handle, shooting ability and swag are straight out of NBA 2k. During his 11-year career, Irving became a seven-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA selection, 2012 Rookie of the Year and 2014 All-Star Game MVP, and reached the pinnacle of playoff success. Hitting a clutch step-back jumper over Stephen Curry to help the Cavaliers win their first title of 2016.
Irving became a lightning rod of controversy after demanding a trade from Cleveland. Fans often gave him a hard time for certain practices, joking about the NBA media or the Earth being flat. But his talent cannot be denied. Irving is averaging 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 46.9 percent shooting from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The 2022-23 season could be the most important of Irving’s career. The former No. 1 overall pick opted into the final season of his contract after free agents and Brooklyn couldn’t agree to an extension. The offseason controversy began after Irving decided to remain unvaccinated against Covid-19. As a result of this decision, the Nets were prepared to force Irving to sit out the season.
The front office changed course in December as the NBA dealt with the league-wide virus outbreak. Irving was only able to play road games until New York lifted its vaccination mandate. The lack of consensus leads to close friend and teammate Kevin Durant asking for a trade. Irving Durant reportedly wants to play in Brooklyn regardless of his position on the team.
Some fans may disagree with Handy’s take, but Irving has arguably the best handle in the NBA and is a superior shooter from all areas of the floor. He would be a great addition to the Lakers if they were to make a deal for him this offseason.