Miami Heat two-way star Jimmy Butler reasons why and how is Kyrie Irving one of the five toughest players he has ever guarded.
Kyrie Irving is undoubtedly the best ball-handler in today’s league. In fact, only a few set of players in the history of the NBA have handles as shifty and smooth as Kyrie’s. There is virtually no defender whose ankles “Uncle Drew” hasn’t broken. And because of his surreal ability to handle the ball so flawlessly, it has enabled Kyrie to be one of the most successful guards in league history.
Because of Kai’s great ability to handle the rock so fluently, he has been able to be a dynamic scorer, ever since he joined the league as a young 19-year-old. And in the 10 seasons till now, the Nets superstar has averaged 22.8 points, 5.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds on an incredible 47/39/88 shooting split.
Several top defenders have gotten their ankles broken while trying to guard Irving. Jimmy Butler, one of the better wing defenders in today’s league, is just one of the many stars who has been crossed up and handed several buckets by Kyrie.
“Kyrie Irving is probably one of my favourite players to watch”: Jimmy Butler
Back in 2020, the Miami Heat superstar was asked to pen down the five toughest players he had ever guarded. Alongside naming LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and James Harden, Jimmy Buckets also named Kyrie Irving. In his “The Players’ Tribune” article, the Heat forward reasoned:
“Probably one of my favorite players to watch. He’s so shifty and crafty with his dribble, like he’s got the ball on a string. Crossover, behind-the-back, spin move, going right, going left — however he needs to do it, he always gets where he wants to go. And he’s so precise that you would think he practices all these different combinations of dribble moves. But he’s really just making it up as he goes along. It’s stupid.
And he toys with guys.
Like, he’ll have you beat, but instead of taking the bucket, he’ll pull it back and reset, like, No, no, no. Not yet. I’m not done. I got something else for you….
But there are so many other elements to his game, too. He can shoot the three. He’s a great passer. He can post guys up — he’s not gonna post me up. He’s too little. But he can post most guys. He’s incredible with both hands when it comes to finishing at the rim. He hits a lot of tough shots — floaters, fadeaways, contested shots, layups over bigs in the paint … any which way you want it, he can finish.
So when you talk about unstoppable guys in the league right now, Kyrie is definitely in that category.”