Should Kyrie Irving leave the Boston Celtics, many expect the star point guard to join forces with Kevin Durant.
While it’s well-documented that the two are great friends, a Basketball Hall of Famer believes a potential Irving-Durant pairing wouldn’t make much sense from a basketball perspective.
Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas joined ESPN’s “Get Up!” on Tuesday to discuss what’s expected to be a wild NBA offseason. And if you ask the two-time champion, Irving and Durant are better-suited to be on separated teams.
“I don’t see these two being a good fit because they have the same skill set,” Thomas said. “I mean, Kyrie and Kevin Durant — they’re both ball-dominant. What makes Kevin Durant so effective in Golden State is that Klay (Thompson) plays off the ball and Steph (Curry) plays off the ball. The two point guards for Golden State is Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Those are the main ball handlers. When you look at Kyrie Irving, he’s a ball-dominant guard. He wants to handle the basketball. The thing that made him not like Cleveland as much is that LeBron James was ball-dominant also and Kyrie said he wanted his own team. Now you put Kyrie and Durant together, which one of them is going to be the ball-dominant person and which one is going to play off the ball?
Thomas added: “Magic Johnson and I were great friends, but we played the same position. Kyrie and Durant, they’re good friends, but as basketball players — Magic Johnson and I would not have been compatible, just like I don’t think Kevin and Kyrie are compatible. …Who’s going to have the ball out front? That’s gonna be problematic.”
Irving has seen some time off-ball this season, as the Celtics have a handful of players capable of bringing the ball up court and facilitating the offense. The star point guard likely would be able to co-exist with Durant for the most part, but crunch time could prompt issues. Both superstars have gotten it done in the clutch under the bright lights and likely would want the ball in the biggest moments.
But tactics aside, Irving and Durant teaming up might not be in either of their best interests so as long as winning is the primary objective. Both players would be hard-pressed to find better situations than the ones have in Boston and Golden State, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images