Compliments are always good but it gets better when they come from your opponent.
Through an article on The Players’ Tribune, Boston Celtics point guard Isiah Thomas identified the NBA’s best ball handlers and, unsurprisingly, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ All Star point guard Kyrie Irving made the list.
“Kyrie lives laterally. He goes side to side at such a high level it’s hard for defenders to keep up. He’s right in front of you, then he’s not, and it all starts with the crossover. It’s the same move every point guard has in his arsenal.”
“Throw in the fact that he can shoot at a high level or finish at the basket as good as anybody, and you’re definitely ending up in a highlight reel when you’re guarding Kyrie, because you will get crossed.”
Every bit of Thomas’ statement is on point and he got to witness it first hand during last season’s playoffs when his Celtics got swept by Irving’s Cavaliers in the first round.
Irving’s ball handling skills are simply on another level and the list of his victims just goes on and on.
For what it’s worth, both Irving and Thomas are from the 2011 draft class with the former as the top overall pick and the latter being the player picked last at 60th. Unfortunately for Isiah Thomas, he will get to see those ankle breakers up close quite often in the regular season, and possibly in the playoffs as well.