A couple of weeks after the Brooklyn Nets were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving appeared on his teammates and close friends Kevin Durant’s Boardroom podcast, The ETCs with Kevin Durant.
During the podcast, Irving and podcast host Eddie Gonzalez spoke on a plethora of subjects ranging from the drama of whether or not he would get to play this year due to New York’s vaccine mandates to his place in League history as one of the most skilled players ever. During the podcast, Irving and Gonzales also notably spoke on the Duke products NBA 75 snub.
Irving’s main case that he belongs on the top-75 list of all time was that he’s one of those few players that have most displayed “the mastery of basketball” in a similar fashion as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or Durant did.
“I really admire a lot of the talent that has come through our league that has really set cornerstones and foundational shots, pathways for people to follow right or to achieve better, to want to achieve better,” Irving said. “So I can’t sit here and debate. You know whether or not I was or I wasn’t. I can only tell you how I feel, and absolutely I feel like I deserve to be on that top 75 list.”
Going further into the conversation, Gonzales noted that if fans and other hoopers could hoop like anyone, they would want to play like Irving. This statement further cements Irving’s belief that he’s played a big part in revolutionizing basketball with his creative crossovers and electric shot-making ability.
“Simply because I’m part of the revolution of this game, and that’s what drives me – as well as to continue to spark the next brain that’s going to be part of this 0.03% of billions of people,” Irving explained. “So, it’s not going to be for everybody.”
After 11-years in the League, Irving has more time behind him than in front of him to make his case for the NBA top-100 list. So far, Irving’s accolades list as follows, he’s a seven-time All-Star with one All-Star MVP, has been named All-NBA three times, and has a 50/40/90 season under his belt. Irving won Rookie of the Year in 2012 and has won one NBA championship, hitting one of the most iconic clutch buckets of all-time in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
As great as Irving has been throughout his career, the things being held against him have been his lack of availability, playing just 611 regular games due to injury, load-managing, and age. However, Irving has posted a career average of 23.1 points per game, averaging a career-best 27.4 points per game during the 2020-21 campaign.
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