Steve Nash caused a stir this weekend with his answer to a question comparing Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving to Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
Nash was asked if Iverson was a fair comparison for Irving. Of course, Nash is familiar with both men. He’s currently Irving’s coach and he battled Iverson on the court plenty of times in his playing career.
You can see Nash’s full answer below. To his credit, he tried to handle the question diplomatically, calling Iverson and “all-time great” and “special in his own right.”
However, saying Irving is “more skilled” drew some blowback, and by reading the quote in full context, it seems like Nash might be saying Kyrie is the better overall player.
Steve Nash was asked if Allen Iverson was a fair player comparison for Kyrie Irving. Nash said Kyrie is more skilled and that Iverson was electrifying, a crazy competitor, and one of the all-time greats. Full quote below. pic.twitter.com/YR0TkRNKwg
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 5, 2021
Irving is definitely the better shooter of the two, particularly from three-point range, and we tend to agree with Nash that the 28-year-old’s finishing ability and ballhandling skills are on par with the greatest to ever play the point guard position.
However, when you consider what Iverson did as the No. 1 option for the Sixers, it’s remarkable. He dragged a relatively average roster to an NBA Finals appearance in 2001 and won a playoff series in three other seasons in Philly.
Irving, meanwhile, did make the Eastern Conference Finals and Semifinals during his two-year stint as the best player on the Celtics, though his supporting cast on those teams was better than what Iverson had in Philly.
Iverson is the better overall player in our estimation, though what Irving has been able to do–and is still doing–is nothing to laugh at.