Kyrie Irving is NOT the Superstar You Thought

If there is a fan base from sports that I loathe, it is the NBA fans. The NBA fan base relies heavily on prisoner of the moment mentality and become reactionary mouth breathers. A guy drops 50 and all of a sudden, “oh shit, he’s a stud.” A guy knocks down a game winner once or twice and all of a sudden he is the most clutch player on the planet.

Case in point, the way most people viewed Kyrie Irving upon his departure from Cleveland. I was the guy who said he is not on the same level as guys like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard etc.

All of them have regular season success as well as playoff success. The latter is the more important part of the equation.

Now let me address the elephant in the room here. Russell Westbrook gets the nod because he is the biggest conundrum in the NBA. He will single handedly carry your team to the post season because of his hustle and tenacity. When efficiency matters (playoffs), he’s probably shooting you out of title chances. That is an entirely different story for another day.

Now of course this year we have seen guys like the duo of Damian Lillard/CJ McCollum step up. Giannis Antetokounmpo took a major step forward and looks like he may be bringing hype to bigs again. But you know who didn’t live up to the hype? Kyrie Irving.

The whole story and joke of Kyrie could end with the fact that for the longest time, he believed the Earth was flat. (That is not a joke) He was a flat eather. That should tell you what you need to know about him. But I will play the game and dive into it all.

Kyrie In Cleveland

The 2009-2010 Cavs finished the regular season with 61 wins. With virtually the same roster pieces minus Shaq and Zeke (7th and 8th in minutes respectively), they won 19 games the following season. One year removed from LeBron, they landed Kyrie with the number one overall pick in 2011. With the same roster, Kyrie elevated the Cavs to 21 wins the next season. In fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t win their 61st game (LeBron’s final season win total) until February 7th, 2014. It took a Kyrie led Cavs 2 and a half years to reach that.

Someone may point out the 65 games he missed during the span of those 3 seasons. Maybe that is fair, but how valuable is a guy who can’t stay healthy? That is Kyrie in a nutshell. He tends to miss time.

When LeBron returned to Cleveland, everyone began crowning Kyrie as a bonafide superstar mentioning him in the same breath of guys like the aforementioned. I just don’t understand why. All of a sudden he plays with LeBron and people start crowing him as a mega star. Did you forget who he was playing with?

This is the same guy who couldn’t get his team out of the regular season. Not one postseason appearance prior to LeBron.

Once he became the Robin to LeBron’s Batman, his numbers remained around the same in terms of shooting percentage and points up until his final year where he exploded. He finished with his highest point per game total while shooting at a higher than average (for him) clip from the floor and downtown.

As for the playoffs, he did his part in showing up for the most part. That’s where it all matters anyway. Of course you have to make the postseason, but everyone who watches games knows teams turn it on come playoff time on the defensive end. Kyrie showed he could live up and elevate his game…

But, it was alongside Lebron. I am not the guy who says LeBron does it all himself all the time. Although there is some merit to that, just not quite the same water people claim it holds.

When the Cavs won in 2016, Kyrie finished averaging 25 points while shooting 47% from the field and 44% from 3. He also knocked down one of the most clutch shots in my finals memory with his game 7 three to put the Cavs ahead by three with less than a minute to go. That being said, playing alongside LeBron, you’re not going to be the guy teams key in on. Maybe this is an unfair bench mark, but he couldn’t outperform his teammate in LeBron as a whole.

Overall in the playoffs during their tenure in Cleveland, LeBron averaged more points, assists and a better FG% every year minus their first year when Kyrie was 2% better. However, Kyrie averaged 11 less points and 5 less assists. He also wound up getting injured and it was LeBron vs the world without Kyrie and Kevin Love in the finals.

I had someone say recently Kyrie outperformed LeBron in the finals, but couldn’t give me a reason how. In the only finals (2nd run) where the numbers were close, LeBron had more point per game (+2) with 6 more assists. They washed on FG and 3-pt FG as LeBron was +3 from the field while Kyrie was +3 from downtown.

The only I am going to use that comparison (although unfair) is because he isn’t the only person I have heard say that he outperformed LeBron.

Coming full circle, it is because he made the biggest shot of the game. But people forget the LeBron chase down block that swung the momentum in their favor on Iggy. Prisoner of the moment mentality.

Kyrie Heads East

Now fast forward to Boston, I understand Kyrie wanting to leave the shadow of LeBron to be the guy somewhere else, despite it being a sound situation. If  someone knocks him for making the move, you let me know when you would pass up a chance where the ceiling may be higher. Boston made plenty of sense due to having a roster filled with young talent who seemed to be missing that one true superstar.

Ever since then, he’s been such a wishy washy pansy and making headlines for all the wrong reasons. I’d like to refer back to believing the earth is flat. I can’t stress that enough for a bench mark for how much of an idiot this guy is.

He leaves Cleveland after demanding a trade and gets sent to Boston because he wants to be THE guy. Now that he no longer have LeBron by your side, he can’t handle the pressure.

Kyrie Falling Off His Flat Earth

In October, he says he has all intentions of re-signing and will be back. He was filmed in a commercial saying he wanted his number 11 in the rafters. He said he didn’t want to uproot his family again. In the same month, he planted the seed of New York when he said he had considered it. Now I won’t crush him for that because he is talking in hindsight, but don’t put that juju on yourself. Not a calculated move on his part.

Also you’re still under contract and you literally just got to Boston.

In November after a 1-4 road trip, he suggested the Celtics should add a veteran despite having he and Al Horford because the regular season is a marathon and not a sprint.

In January, frustrations boil over and he demands more of the young guys. He calls them out saying they don’t know the level it takes to win a championship. Again, no shit, they didn’t have the luxury of playing alongside LeBron. He says because they don’t have experience, they’re not competing the way they should. How do you get experience? You get that through the growing pains.

Later that month, he calls LeBron to apologize after leaving Cleveland because of those same reasons of him demanding more from his teammates. Kyrie wasn’t having it and now that the shoe is on the other foot, he gets it.

In February, he has no full intention of re-signing with Boston and takes the full I “need to do what’s best for me and my family” approach. When just 4 months earlier, he claimed uprooting his family would be difficult. He went on to say he doesn’t “owe anybody shit.” That is a direct quote.

In the latest rumor this month from Brian Windhorst, now there is a possibility of LeBron and Kyrie reuniting.

And around the merry go round we go. It gets even worse. After the Celtics lost 4 straight to the Bucks to get sent home in dominant fashion 4-1, Kyrie decides to keep running that idiotic mouth of his. Not only did he not perform well, he says this…

“Who cares?” Irving said after being asked about his shooting woes. “I’m a basketball player. Prepare the right way. Like I said, it’s a little different when your rhythm is challenged every play down. You’re being picked up full court. They’re doing things to test you.”

He follows it up with this gem…

“The expectations on me are going to be sky-high. I try to utilize their aggression against them and still put my teammates in a great position while still being aggressive. I’m trying to do it all. For me, the 22 shots? I should have shot 30. I’m that great of a shooter.”

During a profile by ESPN in playoffs, he says shit like this…

“I’ve been playing basketball a lot longer than some of these people analyzing the game,” Irving says. “I’m an actual genius when it comes to this game. If you ask me about basketball, I will talk all day. If you ask me about spacing at the 3:33 mark of the second quarter, I will gladly explain it. I’ll tell you what plays worked, about adjustments we make. But when it comes to personal things, or comparing myself to my NBA brothers, like, ‘Do you think you are better than this guy?’ I’m out.”

If that doesn’t scream ignorance and arrogance, I don’t know what does. I am not the guy who typically screams about arrogance. I am usually the guy that welcomes it. I love Marshawn Lynch, Muhammad Ali, Cam Newton and several others.

But for the love of all that is holy, have some, just some, self-awareness. You get called out for a performance, but then you just double down completely. Wow.

Kyrie Performance

Kyrie has freaking performed more often than not when he’s on the court for the Celtics…in the regular season.

Kyrie has averaged about the same on points as his last season in Cleveland. However, his field goal percentages across the board are higher. He just racked up a career high in assists.

The playoffs are a different story though. Last year, he was nowhere to be found because of an injury. His team willed their way without him and Gordon Hayward all the way to LeBron in Conference Finals where they lost game 7. You have the nerve to insult this team about their work ethic and will to win. They also finished off the Bucks in round 1, another series that went 7.

This season with Kyrie, the Celtics made quick work of the lowly Pacers in round 1. Then against the Bucks, they get trounced and Kyrie played like shit in the 4 straight losses.

  • Game 2 – 4/18 – 9 points – 4 assists
  • Game 3 – 8/22 – 29 points – 6 assists
  • Game 4 – 7/22 – 23 points – 10 assists
  • Game 5 – 6/21 – 15 points – 1 assist

My Verdict

I made a video right after the trade happened calling how this would all unfold. Kyrie is not the superstar everyone thought. I didn’t forget who he was before LeBron and I wasn’t willing to bank on him being a stud post LeBron. He was Robin to LeBron’s Batman.

This was his chance to prove himself and he failed…miserably.

You’re calling out the teammates who willed their way past the team you couldn’t manage to knock down your shots against. But shooters shoot right?

Then you have the audacity to double down and get offended at someone questioning your ability.

You knock your teammates who were 1 game away from the championship without their supposed prized piece (you).

You put up an abysmal performance averaging 16 points on 20 shots. You shoot 30% from the floor and 19% from 3 and have the nerve to call out those doing their job (reporters) by questioning your shooting ability.

I thought you were a basketball genius…

Wouldn’t a basketball genius adjust his game if things weren’t going his way? Most basketball geniuses would likely figure that out through a single half, let alone 4 games.

Wouldn’t a basketball genius understand that teams play tighter in the playoffs before it starts happening?

Wouldn’t a basketball genius realize if his shot is off that the goal should then be help create for others to find a rhythm?

You question everyone around you after literally asking to be the leader of a franchise. You were given that title. You sure did squander it.

You wanted to be the leader. But you’re not. You’re a B+ player who always got way more credit than you actually deserved.

You didn’t lead. You didn’t perform. You didn’t do your part, period.

You are too fickle in your mindset. You are too soft mentally. You couldn’t live up when the stage was shining brightest with all eyes on you.

I cannot stress this part enough. This is what you get when you trust anyone who is a flat earther.

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