Poll

Is Kyrie Irving A Legitimate, Bonafide Superstar In The NBA (In Your Books/Definition)?

Yes, Kyrie Irving Is A Legitimate (Bonafide) Superstar In This League
49 (64.5%)
No, I View Kyrie As A Legit All-Star, But A Fringe Superstar At Best Currently
27 (35.5%)

Total Members Voted: 76

Author Topic: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?  (Read 3535 times)

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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #60 on: November 05, 2017, 08:46:39 PM »

Online tarheelsxxiii

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Irving is A- level player as is Hayward. That is probably a "superstar" but it is not a transcendent player.

Well said, big Mo.  Most objective stance on Kyrie that I've ever seen on this board.
awhile ago I made this thread so I'm consistent where Irving is concerned.

http://forums.celticsblog.com/index.php?topic=89806.msg2264984#msg2264984

The "superstar" versus franchise player distinction is an important one, especially if the former is going to be used relatively loosely.  The players you listed do seem to be right on the cusp too, despite how truly great they are.
"As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game."
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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #61 on: November 05, 2017, 08:54:47 PM »

Offline GreenFaith1819

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Legit All-Star but if he continues his development he could very well be sniffing top 10-12 by next year this time - at the young age of 26.

This is HIS team now - no question. With GH out it will be up to him to lead and continue to get better. He's done this so far and I've been truly impressed by him - especially on the defensive end.

It will be great to revisit this thread by end of the season.
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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2017, 08:57:38 PM »

Offline Ilikesports17

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For me there are a select few superstars in this league.

I believe Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard are superstars. I think Harden is also a superstar but hes more on the fringe. I think Giannis, Davis and Towns are all guys sitting right outside that group.
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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2017, 05:04:50 AM »

Online Androslav

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I find that the basic 3 basketball elements are: shooting, dribling and passing.

Kyrie is one of the best shooters ever of the dribble/in PNR. Maybe the single most valuable skill in the league. It changed the league. It made people guard Curry 30 feet away from the basket like he is under the rim and a 2 time MVP. That is a skill only a couple of guys along with Curry (the best ever/in the group), Kyrie, Lillard, Harden (see 3pt fouls too) and can repeat constantly. IT was in that group just once, last year - he ended up 5th in MVP voting. Kyrie can hit those above the break all day. It includes going 8/8 in a game and that G7 shot.
Shooting verdict: Historically great

Kyrie is IMO the best dribbler of all time. Too many moves for others to process, too fast, the handle is super tight. Some defenders are afraid and some just fold to the side after a couple of bounces.
Handle verdict: Historically great

The 3rd element is passing. He is not the very best here, not in the Rubio, LBJ, Rondo, Simmons, Teodosić tier (those guys can really invent passes as the play is unfolding), but still a very good passer, in the top 10%. He is a creative and willing passer, and as it is with all of his aspects at the offensive end, he gives a little extra flair on those.
Passing verdict: Excellent

Who can match Kyries level in these fundamental skills and was not/is not a Superstar?

There are a few problems with this post.

1. You know there's another side of the court, don't you?
2. Grayson Boucher is historically great at passing, dribbling and good at shooting. He's not even in the NBA. Again, your criteria is a wee bit lacking.
3. Last year there were 17 point guards who averaged more assists. That's not top 10%.
4. Consistent production matters. No matter what someone shows in isolation or in limited moments, a true superstar brings it every period of every game. Kyrie hasn't done that yet.

Give him time before anointing him as the savior. He hasn't even made the journey to Cana yet, never mind turning the water into wine.

Yeah, if a player needed only three skills, and his ranks were “best ever”, “one of the best ever” and “top 10%”, he’d be in Jordan territory.

1. Yea we all know about Kyries defense. The improvement under our system is evident, finally, he is on a team with a defensive culture and is showing signs of steep improvement. I just think that the defensive stance is a less basic basketball skill than shooting or dribbling. I am not diminishing that part of the floor, just that defense always was for physical, generally less skilled players, and requires less training hours than the described 3 skills.
Even if he stays at that "Cleveland" level - Harden? Iverson? Gervin? Barkley? Dominique? just to name a few, these guys weren't superstars?
2. Grayson Boucher - I truly don't know who that is, I googled him and saw he is a basketball "dancer", juggler, entertainer. Let's leave out J.Lo's and Michael Jacksons of the world out of NBA superstar talk. Kyrie is not some mixtape wannabe, he achieved more than Michael Jordan did at his age.
3. Logically flawed. Assists don't necessarily reflect someones ability to pass. It is closer to reflecting players tendencies and usage. Example: Boris Diaw, old Sabonis, Horford, any Gasol family member, Ginobili and even our Smart all are 5 times the passers D.Rose ever was, but none of them ever came to his 7.7 and 7.9 APG. Logically speaking, passing is in a category that is above the assisting. Meaning that you can't make an assist without making a pass, but you can make a pass without achieving an assist.
4. Lebron doesn't even defend until April. This year KD isn't engaged in 1st quarters (the ones I saw), Curry, Harden, Kobe, Shaq... all have/had theirs on/off moments. When someone uses the double standard to make a point, it simply doesn't work.

In my book, this is how Kyrie as a SS plays in the finals:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-finals-cavaliers-vs-warriors.html
Against the best defensive team in the league.
Also, just the way he was disassembling our team into basic components in the last years ECF. That's was with an All NBA defender on him.

Guys, you know that the time is on the side of my arguments. And, if I am proven to be correct even further, you will be happier, so better not to use that energy on counter arguing. :)

BTW, Brad won 8 games in a row for the 1st time in his NBA career. Cheers!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 05:53:34 AM by Androslav »
"The joy of the balling under the rims."

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2017, 06:11:51 AM »

Offline Green-18

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I find that the basic 3 basketball elements are: shooting, dribling and passing.

Kyrie is one of the best shooters ever of the dribble/in PNR. Maybe the single most valuable skill in the league. It changed the league. It made people guard Curry 30 feet away from the basket like he is under the rim and a 2 time MVP. That is a skill only a couple of guys along with Curry (the best ever/in the group), Kyrie, Lillard, Harden (see 3pt fouls too) and can repeat constantly. IT was in that group just once, last year - he ended up 5th in MVP voting. Kyrie can hit those above the break all day. It includes going 8/8 in a game and that G7 shot.
Shooting verdict: Historically great

Kyrie is IMO the best dribbler of all time. Too many moves for others to process, too fast, the handle is super tight. Some defenders are afraid and some just fold to the side after a couple of bounces.
Handle verdict: Historically great

The 3rd element is passing. He is not the very best here, not in the Rubio, LBJ, Rondo, Simmons, Teodosić tier (those guys can really invent passes as the play is unfolding), but still a very good passer, in the top 10%. He is a creative and willing passer, and as it is with all of his aspects at the offensive end, he gives a little extra flair on those.
Passing verdict: Excellent

Who can match Kyries level in these fundamental skills and was not/is not a Superstar?

There are a few problems with this post.

1. You know there's another side of the court, don't you?
2. Grayson Boucher is historically great at passing, dribbling and good at shooting. He's not even in the NBA. Again, your criteria is a wee bit lacking.
3. Last year there were 17 point guards who averaged more assists. That's not top 10%.
4. Consistent production matters. No matter what someone shows in isolation or in limited moments, a true superstar brings it every period of every game. Kyrie hasn't done that yet.

Give him time before anointing him as the savior. He hasn't even made the journey to Cana yet, never mind turning the water into wine.

Yeah, if a player needed only three skills, and his ranks were “best ever”, “one of the best ever” and “top 10%”, he’d be in Jordan territory.

1. Yea we all know about Kyries defense. The improvement under our system is evident, finally, he is on a team with a defensive culture and is showing signs of steep improvement. I just think that the defensive stance is a less basic basketball skill than shooting or dribbling. I am not diminishing that part of the floor, just that defense always was for physical, generally less skilled players, and requires less training hours than the described 3 skills.
Even if he stays at that "Cleveland" level - Harden? Iverson? Gervin? Barkley? Dominique? just to name a few, these guys weren't superstars?
2. Grayson Boucher - I truly don't know who that is, I googled him and saw he is a basketball "dancer", juggler, entertainer. Let's leave out J.Lo's and Michael Jacksons of the world out of NBA superstar talk. Kyrie is not some mixtape wannabe, he achieved more than Michael Jordan did at his age.
3. Logically flawed. Assists don't necessarily reflect someones ability to pass. It is closer to reflecting players tendencies and usage. Example: Boris Diaw, old Sabonis, Horford, any Gasol family member, Ginobili and even our Smart all are 5 times the passers D.Rose ever was, but none of them ever came to his 7.7 and 7.9 APG. Logically speaking, passing is in a category that is above the assisting. Meaning that you can't make an assist without making a pass, but you can make a pass without achieving an assist.
4. Lebron doesn't even defend until April. This year KD isn't engaged in 1st quarters (the ones I saw), Curry, Harden, Kobe, Shaq... all have/had theirs on/off moments. When someone uses the double standard to make a point, it simply doesn't work.

In my book, this is how Kyrie as a SS plays in the finals:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-finals-cavaliers-vs-warriors.html
Also, just the way he was disassembling our team into basic components in the last years ECF. That's was with an All NBA defender on him.

Guys, you know that the time is on the side of my arguments. And, if I am proven to be correct even further, you will be happier, so better not waste energy on counter arguing. :)

BTW, Brad won 8 games in a row for the 1st time in his NBA career. Cheers!

Well said.  It's fair to argue that there is a decent list of more well-rounded players than Kyrie.  However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas.  His ability to score on the biggest stage is the missing piece for most teams in the league.

Others have mentioned that our personal criteria makes this an impossible debate, which is true.  My major argument against LeBron, Kawhi, Durant, and Steph being the only "Superstars" is the fact that LeBron is the only one who has a proven ability to carry a team regardless of coaching and/or talent around him.  Kawhi is one of my favorite players in the league (top 3 IMO) but he has benefited greatly from playing under Popovich.  Durant has always had an elite player or two around him.  Would he have ever carried LeBron's early Cavs teams to 55+ wins?  Curry is amazing but he had Klay with him from the start.  The combinations of Kerr's arrival and Draymond's ascension helped put that team over the top.  The Mark Jackson Warriors played too much ISO ball and routinely ranked near the bottom of the league in passes per game.

I guess I don't understand what puts Leonard, Durant, and Steph in the such an exclusive "Superstar" category.  They are still in my top 5 but LeBron stands on his own under strict criteria. 
     
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 06:19:08 AM by Green-18 »

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2017, 08:15:08 AM »

Online Roy H.

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Quote
However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas. 

He’s a historically great ball handler. What’s your argument for being “historically great” at scoring?

He’s only finished in the top-10 in scoring once, when he was 9th in 2016.  That’s far from historically great.


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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2017, 08:42:26 AM »

Offline Moranis

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I find that the basic 3 basketball elements are: shooting, dribling and passing.

Kyrie is one of the best shooters ever of the dribble/in PNR. Maybe the single most valuable skill in the league. It changed the league. It made people guard Curry 30 feet away from the basket like he is under the rim and a 2 time MVP. That is a skill only a couple of guys along with Curry (the best ever/in the group), Kyrie, Lillard, Harden (see 3pt fouls too) and can repeat constantly. IT was in that group just once, last year - he ended up 5th in MVP voting. Kyrie can hit those above the break all day. It includes going 8/8 in a game and that G7 shot.
Shooting verdict: Historically great

Kyrie is IMO the best dribbler of all time. Too many moves for others to process, too fast, the handle is super tight. Some defenders are afraid and some just fold to the side after a couple of bounces.
Handle verdict: Historically great

The 3rd element is passing. He is not the very best here, not in the Rubio, LBJ, Rondo, Simmons, Teodosić tier (those guys can really invent passes as the play is unfolding), but still a very good passer, in the top 10%. He is a creative and willing passer, and as it is with all of his aspects at the offensive end, he gives a little extra flair on those.
Passing verdict: Excellent

Who can match Kyries level in these fundamental skills and was not/is not a Superstar?

There are a few problems with this post.

1. You know there's another side of the court, don't you?
2. Grayson Boucher is historically great at passing, dribbling and good at shooting. He's not even in the NBA. Again, your criteria is a wee bit lacking.
3. Last year there were 17 point guards who averaged more assists. That's not top 10%.
4. Consistent production matters. No matter what someone shows in isolation or in limited moments, a true superstar brings it every period of every game. Kyrie hasn't done that yet.

Give him time before anointing him as the savior. He hasn't even made the journey to Cana yet, never mind turning the water into wine.

Yeah, if a player needed only three skills, and his ranks were “best ever”, “one of the best ever” and “top 10%”, he’d be in Jordan territory.

1. Yea we all know about Kyries defense. The improvement under our system is evident, finally, he is on a team with a defensive culture and is showing signs of steep improvement. I just think that the defensive stance is a less basic basketball skill than shooting or dribbling. I am not diminishing that part of the floor, just that defense always was for physical, generally less skilled players, and requires less training hours than the described 3 skills.
Even if he stays at that "Cleveland" level - Harden? Iverson? Gervin? Barkley? Dominique? just to name a few, these guys weren't superstars?
2. Grayson Boucher - I truly don't know who that is, I googled him and saw he is a basketball "dancer", juggler, entertainer. Let's leave out J.Lo's and Michael Jacksons of the world out of NBA superstar talk. Kyrie is not some mixtape wannabe, he achieved more than Michael Jordan did at his age.
3. Logically flawed. Assists don't necessarily reflect someones ability to pass. It is closer to reflecting players tendencies and usage. Example: Boris Diaw, old Sabonis, Horford, any Gasol family member, Ginobili and even our Smart all are 5 times the passers D.Rose ever was, but none of them ever came to his 7.7 and 7.9 APG. Logically speaking, passing is in a category that is above the assisting. Meaning that you can't make an assist without making a pass, but you can make a pass without achieving an assist.
4. Lebron doesn't even defend until April. This year KD isn't engaged in 1st quarters (the ones I saw), Curry, Harden, Kobe, Shaq... all have/had theirs on/off moments. When someone uses the double standard to make a point, it simply doesn't work.

In my book, this is how Kyrie as a SS plays in the finals:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-finals-cavaliers-vs-warriors.html
Also, just the way he was disassembling our team into basic components in the last years ECF. That's was with an All NBA defender on him.

Guys, you know that the time is on the side of my arguments. And, if I am proven to be correct even further, you will be happier, so better not waste energy on counter arguing. :)

BTW, Brad won 8 games in a row for the 1st time in his NBA career. Cheers!

Well said.  It's fair to argue that there is a decent list of more well-rounded players than Kyrie.  However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas.  His ability to score on the biggest stage is the missing piece for most teams in the league.

Others have mentioned that our personal criteria makes this an impossible debate, which is true.  My major argument against LeBron, Kawhi, Durant, and Steph being the only "Superstars" is the fact that LeBron is the only one who has a proven ability to carry a team regardless of coaching and/or talent around him.  Kawhi is one of my favorite players in the league (top 3 IMO) but he has benefited greatly from playing under Popovich.  Durant has always had an elite player or two around him.  Would he have ever carried LeBron's early Cavs teams to 55+ wins?  Curry is amazing but he had Klay with him from the start.  The combinations of Kerr's arrival and Draymond's ascension helped put that team over the top.  The Mark Jackson Warriors played too much ISO ball and routinely ranked near the bottom of the league in passes per game.

I guess I don't understand what puts Leonard, Durant, and Steph in the such an exclusive "Superstar" category.  They are still in my top 5 but LeBron stands on his own under strict criteria. 
   
Lebron is a generational talent.  You get one or maybe two of those players in a generation.  Hence the name.  He is what you would call a special room player in the midst of players like Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc.  Since Jordan there have been 3 of those players: James, Shaq, and Duncan. 

That however doesn't mean there aren't other franchise players.  You know the guys that are always competing for the MVP (top 5 finishes).  If they aren't an All Star or an All NBA player it is likely because they were injured.  Their teams are almost always playoff teams no matter who else is with them and their teams are generally contenders and they are the best player on that team.  Durant is clearly a franchise player.  Leonard is a franchise player.  Curry is a franchise player (2 time MVP, best player on a title team, it is hard to argue against him).  Westbrook and Harden probably are, though a deep playoff run would help their cases.  Davis might be (but he really needs to start putting together playoff teams and playoff success).  Giannis is trending that way, but it is still a bit early for him.  But that is it right now (Dirk was probably in this category in his prime).

Superstars are a whole other category.  Those are players that "should" be an all star every year and "should" be an All NBA player every year (or at least in that mix).  You give them the right talent around them and they could be the best player on a title team.  That is where a guy like Irving falls.  Wall, Paul, Griffin, George, Butler, Anthony, Pau (in his prime), etc.  Hayward was likely headed to this category before the injury. 

There is also a tier right below superstar, which would be the group of players that are consistent all star level players, guys like Horford, Jordan, Conley, Gasol, Love, Aldridge, Lowry, DeRozan, etc.  A guy capable of having an All NBA season or All Star season, but it shouldn't be expected every single season. 

Some players are fringe players in the tier up and a good season or two could elevate them. 

And then there are players like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green that are just so hard to classify because they have never had to be the alpha, so you really don't know if they are all star or superstar players.  Heck they might even be a franchise player if given the opportunity to prove it (which Irving can do now in Boston).   
Ohio State 2014/15 National Champions.

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #67 on: November 06, 2017, 08:56:07 AM »

Offline Green-18

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Quote
However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas. 

He’s a historically great ball handler. What’s your argument for being “historically great” at scoring?

He’s only finished in the top-10 in scoring once, when he was 9th in 2016.  That’s far from historically great.

I was agreeing with the poster above.  The premise of his argument was based upon skills and ability.  I don't think it's far fetched to project that Kyrie will go down as one of the best scoring point guards by the time his career is over.  I'm not comparing him directly to MJ, Wilt, Durant, Kobe etc.

Kyrie's body of work is also incomplete due to him being only 25 years old.  His Finals performances over the past few seasons have been amazing.  Kyrie is one of the best closers in the entire league.  His ability to take over a game on the biggest stage is a rare ability.
 

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #68 on: November 06, 2017, 09:08:26 AM »

Offline Green-18

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I find that the basic 3 basketball elements are: shooting, dribling and passing.

Kyrie is one of the best shooters ever of the dribble/in PNR. Maybe the single most valuable skill in the league. It changed the league. It made people guard Curry 30 feet away from the basket like he is under the rim and a 2 time MVP. That is a skill only a couple of guys along with Curry (the best ever/in the group), Kyrie, Lillard, Harden (see 3pt fouls too) and can repeat constantly. IT was in that group just once, last year - he ended up 5th in MVP voting. Kyrie can hit those above the break all day. It includes going 8/8 in a game and that G7 shot.
Shooting verdict: Historically great

Kyrie is IMO the best dribbler of all time. Too many moves for others to process, too fast, the handle is super tight. Some defenders are afraid and some just fold to the side after a couple of bounces.
Handle verdict: Historically great

The 3rd element is passing. He is not the very best here, not in the Rubio, LBJ, Rondo, Simmons, Teodosić tier (those guys can really invent passes as the play is unfolding), but still a very good passer, in the top 10%. He is a creative and willing passer, and as it is with all of his aspects at the offensive end, he gives a little extra flair on those.
Passing verdict: Excellent

Who can match Kyries level in these fundamental skills and was not/is not a Superstar?

There are a few problems with this post.

1. You know there's another side of the court, don't you?
2. Grayson Boucher is historically great at passing, dribbling and good at shooting. He's not even in the NBA. Again, your criteria is a wee bit lacking.
3. Last year there were 17 point guards who averaged more assists. That's not top 10%.
4. Consistent production matters. No matter what someone shows in isolation or in limited moments, a true superstar brings it every period of every game. Kyrie hasn't done that yet.

Give him time before anointing him as the savior. He hasn't even made the journey to Cana yet, never mind turning the water into wine.

Yeah, if a player needed only three skills, and his ranks were “best ever”, “one of the best ever” and “top 10%”, he’d be in Jordan territory.

1. Yea we all know about Kyries defense. The improvement under our system is evident, finally, he is on a team with a defensive culture and is showing signs of steep improvement. I just think that the defensive stance is a less basic basketball skill than shooting or dribbling. I am not diminishing that part of the floor, just that defense always was for physical, generally less skilled players, and requires less training hours than the described 3 skills.
Even if he stays at that "Cleveland" level - Harden? Iverson? Gervin? Barkley? Dominique? just to name a few, these guys weren't superstars?
2. Grayson Boucher - I truly don't know who that is, I googled him and saw he is a basketball "dancer", juggler, entertainer. Let's leave out J.Lo's and Michael Jacksons of the world out of NBA superstar talk. Kyrie is not some mixtape wannabe, he achieved more than Michael Jordan did at his age.
3. Logically flawed. Assists don't necessarily reflect someones ability to pass. It is closer to reflecting players tendencies and usage. Example: Boris Diaw, old Sabonis, Horford, any Gasol family member, Ginobili and even our Smart all are 5 times the passers D.Rose ever was, but none of them ever came to his 7.7 and 7.9 APG. Logically speaking, passing is in a category that is above the assisting. Meaning that you can't make an assist without making a pass, but you can make a pass without achieving an assist.
4. Lebron doesn't even defend until April. This year KD isn't engaged in 1st quarters (the ones I saw), Curry, Harden, Kobe, Shaq... all have/had theirs on/off moments. When someone uses the double standard to make a point, it simply doesn't work.

In my book, this is how Kyrie as a SS plays in the finals:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-finals-cavaliers-vs-warriors.html
Also, just the way he was disassembling our team into basic components in the last years ECF. That's was with an All NBA defender on him.

Guys, you know that the time is on the side of my arguments. And, if I am proven to be correct even further, you will be happier, so better not waste energy on counter arguing. :)

BTW, Brad won 8 games in a row for the 1st time in his NBA career. Cheers!

Well said.  It's fair to argue that there is a decent list of more well-rounded players than Kyrie.  However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas.  His ability to score on the biggest stage is the missing piece for most teams in the league.

Others have mentioned that our personal criteria makes this an impossible debate, which is true.  My major argument against LeBron, Kawhi, Durant, and Steph being the only "Superstars" is the fact that LeBron is the only one who has a proven ability to carry a team regardless of coaching and/or talent around him.  Kawhi is one of my favorite players in the league (top 3 IMO) but he has benefited greatly from playing under Popovich.  Durant has always had an elite player or two around him.  Would he have ever carried LeBron's early Cavs teams to 55+ wins?  Curry is amazing but he had Klay with him from the start.  The combinations of Kerr's arrival and Draymond's ascension helped put that team over the top.  The Mark Jackson Warriors played too much ISO ball and routinely ranked near the bottom of the league in passes per game.

I guess I don't understand what puts Leonard, Durant, and Steph in the such an exclusive "Superstar" category.  They are still in my top 5 but LeBron stands on his own under strict criteria. 
   
Lebron is a generational talent.  You get one or maybe two of those players in a generation.  Hence the name.  He is what you would call a special room player in the midst of players like Jordan, Bird, Magic, etc.  Since Jordan there have been 3 of those players: James, Shaq, and Duncan. 

That however doesn't mean there aren't other franchise players.  You know the guys that are always competing for the MVP (top 5 finishes).  If they aren't an All Star or an All NBA player it is likely because they were injured.  Their teams are almost always playoff teams no matter who else is with them and their teams are generally contenders and they are the best player on that team.  Durant is clearly a franchise player.  Leonard is a franchise player.  Curry is a franchise player (2 time MVP, best player on a title team, it is hard to argue against him).  Westbrook and Harden probably are, though a deep playoff run would help their cases.  Davis might be (but he really needs to start putting together playoff teams and playoff success).  Giannis is trending that way, but it is still a bit early for him.  But that is it right now (Dirk was probably in this category in his prime).

Superstars are a whole other category.  Those are players that "should" be an all star every year and "should" be an All NBA player every year (or at least in that mix).  You give them the right talent around them and they could be the best player on a title team.  That is where a guy like Irving falls.  Wall, Paul, Griffin, George, Butler, Anthony, Pau (in his prime), etc.  Hayward was likely headed to this category before the injury. 

There is also a tier right below superstar, which would be the group of players that are consistent all star level players, guys like Horford, Jordan, Conley, Gasol, Love, Aldridge, Lowry, DeRozan, etc.  A guy capable of having an All NBA season or All Star season, but it shouldn't be expected every single season. 

Some players are fringe players in the tier up and a good season or two could elevate them. 

And then there are players like Klay Thompson and Draymond Green that are just so hard to classify because they have never had to be the alpha, so you really don't know if they are all star or superstar players.  Heck they might even be a franchise player if given the opportunity to prove it (which Irving can do now in Boston).   

Those are all very fair and accurate points.  I guess I see the potential for Irving to reach a higher level than Paul, Griffen, George, Butler, Melo, Pau etc.  I also think Giannis has a great chance.  Westbrook and Harden are franchise players at face value.  However, they both have fatal flaws that I don't see in Curry, Leonard, or Durant.  Westbrook has yet to prove that he can  succeed in an offensive system predicated on sharing the ball.  It's amazing what he can accomplish with the ball in his hands but I'm not sure that his skills translate to winning on the highest level.  He's not efficient enough as an alpha but he also seems lost when he isn't the focal point. Harden's issue is that he has no heart.  Amazing talent but there is no grit and determination. 

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #69 on: November 06, 2017, 09:28:52 AM »

Online Roy H.

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However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas. 

He’s a historically great ball handler. What’s your argument for being “historically great” at scoring?

He’s only finished in the top-10 in scoring once, when he was 9th in 2016.  That’s far from historically great.

I was agreeing with the poster above.  The premise of his argument was based upon skills and ability.  I don't think it's far fetched to project that Kyrie will go down as one of the best scoring point guards by the time his career is over.  I'm not comparing him directly to MJ, Wilt, Durant, Kobe etc.

Kyrie's body of work is also incomplete due to him being only 25 years old.  His Finals performances over the past few seasons have been amazing.  Kyrie is one of the best closers in the entire league.  His ability to take over a game on the biggest stage is a rare ability.
 

So “he is historically great” means he may be someday?

That’s a fair argument, but it’s not what you said, and means something completely different. I hope he reaches that level, too.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 09:34:04 AM by Roy H. »


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Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #70 on: November 06, 2017, 09:46:42 AM »

Offline Green-18

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However, Kyrie's combo of elite ball handling and scoring is such a rarity.  As you mentioned, he is historically great in these areas. 

He’s a historically great ball handler. What’s your argument for being “historically great” at scoring?

He’s only finished in the top-10 in scoring once, when he was 9th in 2016.  That’s far from historically great.

I was agreeing with the poster above.  The premise of his argument was based upon skills and ability.  I don't think it's far fetched to project that Kyrie will go down as one of the best scoring point guards by the time his career is over.  I'm not comparing him directly to MJ, Wilt, Durant, Kobe etc.

Kyrie's body of work is also incomplete due to him being only 25 years old.  His Finals performances over the past few seasons have been amazing.  Kyrie is one of the best closers in the entire league.  His ability to take over a game on the biggest stage is a rare ability.
 

So “he is historically great” means he may be someday?

That’s a fair argument, but it’s not what you said, and means something completely different. I hope he reaches that level, too.

I should have clarified this properly.  I am more or less trying to say that his skillset as a scorer is historically great.  That's how I interpreted an earlier post and I was echoing the same sentiment.  Kyrie isn't the biggest, strongest or most athletic guard but very few are close to his level of skill.  Guys like Wall, Lillard, and Westbrook have an athletic advantage.  Kyrie is on their level because of his unique ability as a ball handler, shooter, and creative finisher. 

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #71 on: November 06, 2017, 09:55:56 AM »

Offline DarkAzcura

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If Kyrie keeps playing defense like this, he is easily a top 3 PG behind Steph and Westbrook.

If his defense falls back to the norm for his historical performance, he is back in that Lillard-Walker-IT realm of top 5-7 PG where they are all on similar levels.

I don't know if the former makes him a superstar, but he would be a really great player to have in either scenario.

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #72 on: November 06, 2017, 11:55:06 AM »

Offline Phantom255x

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For me there are a select few superstars in this league.

I believe Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Kawhi Leonard are superstars. I think Harden is also a superstar but hes more on the fringe. I think Giannis, Davis and Towns are all guys sitting right outside that group.

Really? You have Anthony Davis sitting outside that group??  :o

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #73 on: November 06, 2017, 04:59:02 PM »

Offline Granath

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I find that the basic 3 basketball elements are: shooting, dribling and passing.

Kyrie is one of the best shooters ever of the dribble/in PNR. Maybe the single most valuable skill in the league. It changed the league. It made people guard Curry 30 feet away from the basket like he is under the rim and a 2 time MVP. That is a skill only a couple of guys along with Curry (the best ever/in the group), Kyrie, Lillard, Harden (see 3pt fouls too) and can repeat constantly. IT was in that group just once, last year - he ended up 5th in MVP voting. Kyrie can hit those above the break all day. It includes going 8/8 in a game and that G7 shot.
Shooting verdict: Historically great

Kyrie is IMO the best dribbler of all time. Too many moves for others to process, too fast, the handle is super tight. Some defenders are afraid and some just fold to the side after a couple of bounces.
Handle verdict: Historically great

The 3rd element is passing. He is not the very best here, not in the Rubio, LBJ, Rondo, Simmons, Teodosić tier (those guys can really invent passes as the play is unfolding), but still a very good passer, in the top 10%. He is a creative and willing passer, and as it is with all of his aspects at the offensive end, he gives a little extra flair on those.
Passing verdict: Excellent

Who can match Kyries level in these fundamental skills and was not/is not a Superstar?

There are a few problems with this post.

1. You know there's another side of the court, don't you?
2. Grayson Boucher is historically great at passing, dribbling and good at shooting. He's not even in the NBA. Again, your criteria is a wee bit lacking.
3. Last year there were 17 point guards who averaged more assists. That's not top 10%.
4. Consistent production matters. No matter what someone shows in isolation or in limited moments, a true superstar brings it every period of every game. Kyrie hasn't done that yet.

Give him time before anointing him as the savior. He hasn't even made the journey to Cana yet, never mind turning the water into wine.

Yeah, if a player needed only three skills, and his ranks were “best ever”, “one of the best ever” and “top 10%”, he’d be in Jordan territory.

1. Yea we all know about Kyries defense. The improvement under our system is evident, finally, he is on a team with a defensive culture and is showing signs of steep improvement. I just think that the defensive stance is a less basic basketball skill than shooting or dribbling. I am not diminishing that part of the floor, just that defense always was for physical, generally less skilled players, and requires less training hours than the described 3 skills.
Even if he stays at that "Cleveland" level - Harden? Iverson? Gervin? Barkley? Dominique? just to name a few, these guys weren't superstars?
2. Grayson Boucher - I truly don't know who that is, I googled him and saw he is a basketball "dancer", juggler, entertainer. Let's leave out J.Lo's and Michael Jacksons of the world out of NBA superstar talk. Kyrie is not some mixtape wannabe, he achieved more than Michael Jordan did at his age.
3. Logically flawed. Assists don't necessarily reflect someones ability to pass. It is closer to reflecting players tendencies and usage. Example: Boris Diaw, old Sabonis, Horford, any Gasol family member, Ginobili and even our Smart all are 5 times the passers D.Rose ever was, but none of them ever came to his 7.7 and 7.9 APG. Logically speaking, passing is in a category that is above the assisting. Meaning that you can't make an assist without making a pass, but you can make a pass without achieving an assist.
4. Lebron doesn't even defend until April. This year KD isn't engaged in 1st quarters (the ones I saw), Curry, Harden, Kobe, Shaq... all have/had theirs on/off moments. When someone uses the double standard to make a point, it simply doesn't work.

In my book, this is how Kyrie as a SS plays in the finals:
https://www.basketball-reference.com/playoffs/2016-nba-finals-cavaliers-vs-warriors.html
Against the best defensive team in the league.
Also, just the way he was disassembling our team into basic components in the last years ECF. That's was with an All NBA defender on him.

Guys, you know that the time is on the side of my arguments. And, if I am proven to be correct even further, you will be happier, so better not to use that energy on counter arguing. :)

BTW, Brad won 8 games in a row for the 1st time in his NBA career. Cheers!

1. Yes, we all know about Kyrie's defense. But we're not about to take an unsustainable steal rate that is double his lifetime average 10 games into a season as proof that he's somehow solved his defensive issues. The Jury is still out.

2. You set forth the criteria. I'm just providing an answer to which you missed the point. If I can provide a non-NBA player that meets that criteria, it's not the player that's the issue. It's that your criteria is woefully lacking (not to mention that you're massively overestimating Kyrie's historical abilities in each).

3. Assists matter to a PG. That's one of the primary statistics of that position. Kyrie's usage rate is high enough that he should average better than 5 and a half assists per game. The raw stats speak loudly here and it would be incumbent upon you to prove that they're wrong. You've failed to do that.

4. Nice try, epic fail. You mentioned Lebron. So let's use him. Lebron plays defense all year around. He's been 1st team All-Defense 5 times. How many times has Kyrie been All NBA Defense? Again, superstars show up every night. Kyrie scored 11 points last night. Lebron has scored 11 points in exactly one game in the last 5 years. Kyrie isn't in the same universe. Simply put, he's never demonstrated the ability in his entire NBA career to put a team on his shoulders and carry them.

I find it amusing that somehow you point to a couple of 7 game series - one of which he played an injured opponent about even up and the other where he was clearly outplayed - as some sort of proof of his greatness. If greatness were a shot or a series, Big Shot Rob or Sleepy Floyd would be "superstars". I don't consider either one in that category. And if you're giving up more than you're getting and you're supposedly one of the top players on the court, then you didn't help your team win.

Finally, time has nothing to do with this. The question as phrased is current. Not future. No one has said that he can't become one. So it's a point that we will NEVER agree upon because right now Kyrie ain't a superstar. He's a good player who needs to improve his game to get to that level. Maybe he'll get there. Maybe he won't. We'll see.

The Jury is still out.
Jaylen Brown will be an All Star in the next 5 years.

Re: Debating With Friend: What Do You View Kyrie Irving As In The NBA?
« Reply #74 on: November 06, 2017, 06:55:31 PM »

Online Androslav

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I believe this polémique lies in the fact that the most of us were raised in the belief that defense wins championships. I thought so too. It was the truth for a long, long time, but with the 3pt era rennesaince, the offense became more significant. Like it took me some time to realise that, it also took me some 5 years to realise that Kyries offensive capital massively overmatches his defensive shortcommings. The 2nd trend was the switchiness, I saw him switch in the playoffs/finals and was even less worried. To me he looks like the 2nd best offensive guard in the league, behind only Steph. In this era, a guy that is this close/comparable to the on floor Steph is a Superstar. Now with CBS guiding him, he can only go higher and for Steph, there is no place but to go down.

I find that the most of the general NBA narratives are slow catching up to the real truth on the floor. Usually a year or two late IMO. In that time span we will get the answer to this debate. Some will change their minds, some won't.
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