Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups knows a thing or two about elite point guards and the former Finals MVP says few can match Kyrie Irving’s skills.
NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock games outside the live market (7-day free trial)
Ahead of the Trail Blazers’ game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night, Billups says he believes Irving is the “most skilled” point guard in NBA history.
“Kyrie is lonely, he’s a wizard, man”, Billups said via ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“It’s a must see TV. I personally think that as someone who played in the position, I think Kyrie is the most skilled player that has ever played in that position. Just direct ability. Nothing more. Just direct ability. I think he’s the best. that I have”. I’ve seen in position, skill wise. So obviously he gives you a lot when he’s playing. “
While the likes of Allen Iverson, Isiah Thomas, Chris Paul and Steph Curry are in on that conversation, Irving’s improvisation on dribbling, the ability to shoot with either hand, and the ability to take direct buckets make a strong case to back up. Billips sentiment. .
“His shooting is incredible,” added Billups. “He’s a better passer than people give him credit for. He’s obviously a willing teammate. It’s not just about Kyrie. Pass the ball. He’s a champion. He brings championship pedigree to the table. I think he did maybe the one. biggest shot. I’ve seen in NBA Finals history, I’ve seen. “
Steve Nash, the current Nets head coach and two-time MVP point guard, also weighed in on the debate.
“It’s hard to argue,” Nash said. “There are others in the conversation, obviously. Steph [Curry] He is incredibly skilled but so deadly at long range in a variety of ways. But when it comes to handling the ball, the movement, getting to his places and shooting at all three levels, around the rim, is off the charts. Coming to the midrange, it is off the charts. He is also excellent from the depths. “
The Nets got a big boost last week with Irving’s return to the lineup after missing the first 35 games of the season because he wasn’t vaccinated.
He is currently eligible to play only in the Nets’ road games this season, in accordance with New York City’s local COVID-19 mandates, however, even as a part-time player, the seven-time All-Star adds significant firepower to the Nets’ championship aspirations.