It turns out the questionable hot takes coming out of this year's NBA Finals didn't just come from the media. On Wednesday, we got one from one of the players, Kevin Durant.
Durant told SLAM Magazine how impressed he was with Kyrie Irving's play in the Finals and had a comparison that may have some people scratching their heads. See for yourself:
“Kyrie is better than [Allen Iverson] to me," Durant said. "I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better. We might have to cut that out—I don’t want no problems with AI. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill.”
Oh, man. Kyrie is great, but better than Iverson? Consider this: Iverson led the league in scoring four times and in steals three times. Irving has never led the NBA in anything. Iverson also led the league in minutes played eight times.
This season, Irving averaged a career-high 25.2 points per game. Iverson averaged more than that in 10 different seasons and has the 24th most points all-time in NBA history. Irving is arguably more efficient, as he has a career field goal percentage of 45.7 compared to Iverson's 42.5. But Iverson averaged more assists and that's without playing alongside multiple All-Stars like LeBron James and Kevin Love.
Irving, of course, has a ring and Iverson does not. But do the 2001 Sixers make the NBA Finals with Irving on their roster instead of Iverson? That does not seem likely.
Iverson was also a transcendent player who once was one of the true faces of the sport. Irving is popular, but he's not on Iverson's level.
We have no way of knowing whether Durant is right, as this is a complete hypothetical. But it doesn't seem like most basketball fans would agree with Durant on this.