PORTLAND, Pray. – Portland Trail Blazers coach and former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups says he believes Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is “the most skilled player” to ever play in the NBA. point guard position.
“Kyrie is just a wizard, man,” Billups said before the Blazers’ 114-108 win over the Nets on Monday night. “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,” he added.
Billups’ comments came in response to a question about how different the Nets become when Irving is on the floor. Monday marks just the second game this season in which the 29-year-old Irving has played.
Irving, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, was not with the Nets to start the season because they decided not to have a part-time player following New York City’s vaccination mandate. The organization changed course last month after a COVID-19 outbreak made its way through the team. Irving returned Wednesday with a win over the Indiana Pacers, showing glimpses of being the dominant offensive force he has always been.
“His shooting is incredible,” Billups said. “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 the championship pedigree to the table. I think he maybe did. The biggest shot I’ve ever seen in NBA Finals history. “
“So he brings you all those things and now without him, what a luxury, you still have two boys [en Kevin Durant y James Harden] who have been MVP in this game and have led teams a long, long way. So they do a very good job playing well together, when the three of them are together they know how to delegate their roles as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. So it’s a unique situation, obviously. “
Irving, who had 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists in Monday’s loss, agreed with Billups’ assessment after the game.