Westbrook had the highest usage rate in the NBA this season. You can average a ton of assists and still play hero ball (see: Chamberlain, Wilt). Assists alone don’t make a great team player. Russell Westbrook is a ball dominant point guard who doesn’t make his teammates much better. Watch the Thunder barely win 45 games this year with Russ taking 22+ shots a night for 42% shooting. It’ll be like 2015 when KD was hurt.
My point was not that Kyrie is a better passer than Westbrook, but that Westbrook goes to hero ball much more than Kyrie.
I’m not bashing CP3 either. He’s elite, but Kyrie is better offensively. That doesn’t make Chris Paul bad, I just don’t think he could drop 57.
I’ll take Kyrie over Wall. The Damian Lillard comparison is a good one. That would be tough to pick between Kyrie and Dame.
Could Kyrie win 44 games with CJ McCollum as his number two? Maybe. It would be close. Does it matter? I don’t see what’s accomplished by arguing hypotheticals putting this guy on that team — at the end of the day it’s entirely opinion-based with no way to test empirically.
My point is that yes, while Kyrie’s game is mercurial, he belongs with the best point guards in the NBA. Is much of that a byproduct of him playing with LeBron? Sure. But you can make the team argument about any star player — ever.
What if Jordan didn’t have Pippen? What if Magic didn’t have Worthy and Kareem? What if Bird didn’t have McHale? What if Kobe and Shaq never had each other? What if Curry didn’t have Klay, Draymond and Igoudala? It doesn’t matter; they did.