How Kyrie Irving Became the Most Overrated PG in the NBA.

A couple weeks ago, before the whole Draymond vs. KD saga in Golden State, I was having a discussion with my boys about where they thought KD was going to end up next season. One of them said he and Kyrie should go to the Knicks and that would be an automatic championship or at least an automatic birth in the finals. He was sold on the idea of NBA 3K20 (Kyrie, KD, Kristaps). I wasn’t so sure. Why would KD leave the bay area and one of the most formidable dynasties in NBA history to become a part of an experiment with an unproven superstar who is returning from a devastating ACL injury and a guy who has quickly become one of the most overrated point guards in all of basketball. Yes, you read that correctly! Kyrie Irving is big time but is vastly overrated and I am going tell you why.

Kyrie Irving, number one overall pick in the draft, best handle the NBA has ever seen, big time clutch shot maker who capped a 3–1 NBA Finals comeback against the 73–9 Warriors juggernaut. I get all of that, he’s special; but how much of that success is a direct result of the situations he’s been fortunate enough to be placed in as opposed to him actually leading the way? Kyrie has played with LeBron James, who just last year took a Cleveland team that now sits at 2–13 the worst record in the league to the NBA Finals, and now in a system that made Isaiah Thomas look like an MVP candidate. The Boston Celtics, sans Kyrie and Gordon Hayward, just last season went 7 games in the eastern conference finals with LeBron and the Cavs and were a few clutch plays away from making their first finals trip in eight years. They just needed one more playmaker like, ironically, a Kyrie Irving to put them over the top.

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James led the Cavaliers back from a 3–1 deficit to win the 2016 NBA Finals (image via slamonline)

Therein lies my argument as to why Kyrie is overrated. He’s not a superstar that’s going to lead you to the Promised Land. He’s the kind of guy that puts you over the top in a great situation. He’s Pippen, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, or Klay Thompson. He can get you over the hump but he’s not going to get you there as THE MAN. Yet I see so many comparisons to guys like Steph Curry or Chris Paul. Imagine a world where Steph or CP3 lines up alongside LeBron James. Would they not win multiple NBA championships? I believe so. Could the Cavs have gotten at least one NBA championship with Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, or even Kemba Walker as LeBron’s co-star? I’d take that bet. Here is an even better question; is this years Cavaliers team much better if at all than 2–13 (their current record as previously stated) with Kyrie at the helm? See? I’m not too convinced on that one either.

I can see you staring at your screen reading this in angst as you form your lips to say ‘wEll NoNe oF tHoSe OtHeR gUyS wOuLd MakE tHeSe CaVaLiErS aNy BetTeR EiTheR’. Well I give you this; Russell Westbrook, as a solo star, took the OKC Thunder to the playoffs as a 6 seed in a tougher western conference. Lillard has been to the playoffs every year of his career except his rookie year and the last 3 years have been as a solo star. The blazers are also off to a 11–5 start and sit in first place in the west THIS year. Kemba has made the playoffs twice as the lone star on two terrible Charlotte teams (one as the Bobcats, one as the Hornets). He also just became only the second player 6’1” or under to score 60 points in a game.

Stars like Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard have had success as their teams unquestioned number one option (Image via Clutchpoints)

Chris Paul and Steph Curry are on a-whole-nother level.

In 3 years with Kyrie, prior to LeBron returning, the Cavaliers went lottery, lottery, lottery.

Imagine a world where people had questions on whether or not prime LeBron, Kobe, KD, Steph, or Harden was the best player on his team versus a second year player…

So is the life of Kyrie Irving, a supremely talented basketball player and ball handling extraordinaire. A guy who has hit big time shots and comes alive under the bright lights of clutch time; but one who is just not quite the bona-fide superstar and transcendent game changer that everyone wants to make him out to be.

Written by Jerrell Walker

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