When Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant joined forces to play for the Brooklyn Nets, the two were supposed to form one of the NBA’s fiercest duos. Unfortunately, injuries have derailed the last three seasons for the team as they’ve only won one playoff series. The Nets barely squeaked into the playoffs this season and both stars have finally gotten healthy at the right time.
Though they still have a tough path in the playoffs, Durant and Irving are capable of doing crazy things. In fact, there are those who believe that they are the most skilled duo in NBA history. Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady went so far as to suggest that they are even more skilled than the iconic Miami Heat duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
“I haven’t seen a pair, a duo that skilled… Mike and Pip?” McGrady said of Durant and Irving on Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe.
“There’s no other dynamic duo that compares to KD and Kyrie,” McGrady continued. “Even if you look at what LeBron and D-Wade was, skill-wise, they still not touching them two boys.”
LeBron previously formed his own impressive duo with Irving that ended with a championship. The Los Angeles Lakers star made it known that he didn’t take any offense to McGrady’s comments and even agreed with him.
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From a skills standpoint, it could be argued that Durant and Irving are among the greatest duos ever. However, if that were true, they’d have at least a little bit more success. Just the Lakers franchise has a few duos that could rival Durant and Irving. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson won five championships together and they are two of the most skilled players ever. Abdul-Jabbar had his unstoppable skyhook while Johnson is perhaps the greatest passer in NBA history.
More recently, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant won three championships together and could be considered the most iconic duo the NBA has seen over the last two decades. That said, Bryant wasn’t fully developed when they played together and while O’Neal was a dominant force, he wasn’t as skilled at basketball as Irving or Durant. Jerry West and Elgin Baylor is another duo that should be mentioned among the greatest ever.
When LeBron and Irving were teammates, they played incredibly well together. They went to the NBA Finals three times, winning once. Despite them playing well on the court, they didn’t have the best relationship off of it. That played a role in Irving eventually getting traded to the Boston Celtics.
All these years later, it’s clear that there’s no bad blood between them. LeBron is frequently seen praising Irving on Twitter.
Part of LeBron likely wishes that the duo never had to break up. They could’ve won more titles in Cleveland had things not soured. Perhaps the door will open for them to reunite on a team before LeBron retires.
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