It's always going to be difficult for Kyrie Irving to be the best player on the Cleveland Cavaliers while LeBron James still plays for the team, but his efforts are being recognized by his fellow players in the NBA.
His Cavaliers may have lost the NBA Finals series 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night following a Game 5 129-120 loss, but Irving has been putting in performances to he should be up there and discussed as one of the best players in the league today.
The 25-year-old recently received recognition from Golden State's Kevin Durant following his performances in this year's Finals when he made an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast: Finals MVP edition.
The Finals MVP said that he enjoys watching Irving play because he knows how hard he has worked to get to this current stage in his career. He also said he has never seen anybody else like him. You can listen to the podcast by clicking here.
Durant said: "Kyrie just makes you happy. He makes you happy when you watch him play. You just smile when you watch him play, cause it's like, for somebody to be that skilled, you know had to work tirelessly. The stuff he has in his package is next level stuff that, like, you can teach your kids how to do it, but you'll never be able to do it.
"I've never seen anybody block his layup. He's 6'2". I've never seen one person pin his layup on the glass. Not one. Cause like, the spin he got on it, And he don't even have to look at it, it's like, I got so much respect for him because I know how much work he put in to be that good. I've never seen anybody like him."
Durant went on to say he believes Kyrie is better than NBA legend Allen Iverson.
“Kyrie is better than AI to me. I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better. We might have to cut that out—I don’t want no problems with AI. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill.”
Throughout the five games of this year's NBA Finals series, Irving averaged 29.4 points, four rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game played.