Portland Trailblazers head coach Chauncey Billups’ opinion on Kyrie Irving may surprise you.
The former Detroit Pistons point guard had massive praise for the Brooklyn Nets guard Monday.
“I personally think, as somebody that played the position, I think Kyrie’s the most skilled player that’s ever played that position,” Billups said as transcribed by ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Just straight skill. Nothing else. Just straight skill, I think he’s the best that I’ve ever seen at the position, skill-wise.”
Irving, when playing, undoubtedly has been one of the league’s best since breaking onto the scene with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2011-12 season. The 29-year-old boasts career averages of 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game throughout his 11-year career as a member of the the Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and now Nets. For as impressive as he’s been, injuries have hampered him at times and his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19 also has impacted his time on the court.
He has been one of the best players in the league since being taken No. 1 overall out of Duke in the 2011 NBA Draft and arguably has the best handles of any player in league history. Who knows if Billups is right, but he might have a point.