Isiah Thomas in Awe of Kyrie Irving's Offensive Mastery

NBA Greats Reflect on Past and Present Ball Mastery.

by Abdullah Magsi
Isiah Thomas in Awe of Kyrie Irving's Offensive Mastery
© David Jensen/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving's journey of resurgence has garnered admiration from various quarters, notably from NBA luminary Isiah Thomas. During a recent appearance on Bill Simmons' podcast, the revered figure of the Detroit Pistons commended Irving's unparalleled prowess, particularly highlighting his exceptional abilities in navigating the court and finishing plays, traits rarely seen in players of his stature.

Thomas reminisced about the moment he first became aware of Irving's potential, recalling a conversation with renowned Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski over a decade ago. The coach's effusive praise for Irving's game resonated deeply with Thomas, setting the stage for a subsequent admiration of the young star's skills.

Reflecting on Irving's early days, Thomas recounted a firsthand encounter during one of his practice sessions. Witnessing Irving's finesse up close left Thomas spellbound, his admiration evident as he marvelled at the sheer beauty of Irving's game.

Legendary Ball Handling Legacy

The comparison between Thomas and Irving, both revered for their wizardry with the basketball, is not unwarranted. From Thomas's era of deft maneuvers to Irving's modern-day finesse, the parallels are striking.

When Simmons probed Thomas about players with similar finishing abilities, Thomas mentioned Rod Strickland, lauding his proficiency around the basket despite the constraints of their era. While Strickland's skills may have been underappreciated in his time, the evolving landscape of the NBA has brought greater recognition to players like Irving, who thrive in today's fast-paced, dynamic style of play.

Thomas, ever the astute observer, remains captivated by the unfolding narrative of Irving's career, perhaps harboring a sense of pride as the younger guard chases the championship tally of his esteemed predecessor. As the NBA Finals loom large, Thomas finds himself in a unique position, torn between allegiance to his protege, Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics, and his admiration for Irving and the Dallas Mavericks.

Yet, in the grand scheme of things, Thomas's unwavering support for Irving's pursuit of success underscores a bond transcending mere mentorship, rooted in mutual respect and admiration for the game they both cherish.

Kyrie Irving