Before I say anything here, I’ll admit the one thing Kyrie is right about here is that “everybody wants to see it.” That much is certainly true. I would indeed love to see this. But in all honesty, that isn’t the point of what you’re reading. My first reaction to this had nothing to do with the actual potential of a 1-on-1 game. (I did include a poll down below, just for fun. Make sure to vote).
My first reaction was more or less: “Oh, so NOW Kyrie wants to play basketball?” This is a guy that was so “injured” during the season that he could barely play or travel with his team… he couldn’t even show up and play in front of a TD Garden Boston crowd… but NOW he wants to play? Now that it is on his terms with no live viewers or fan, no teammates to pass to, nothing.
Let’s not ignore that fact that this is a Boston vs Kyrie matchup. I know it, you know it, and Kyrie certainly knows it. Why else would it be Kemba, of all players, that he challenges? He knows it’s a Celtics vs him type of thing. The new and beloved Kemba vs the old and exiled Kyrie Irving. There is no denying what this is and/or would be. If it was simply a game of 1-on-1 between two NBA players, Kyrie Irving could’ve challenged anyone in the league. However, that wasn’t the case… it had to be Kemba for some reason.
So, with that in mind, why in the world does Kyrie think he’d be proving anything by possibly winning this game. Let me ask you this, why do we love Kemba Walker? Answer: Because the TEAM is so much better with him on it. A 1-on-1 victory for Kyrie isn’t going to make Boston fans, or any soured once Kyrie fans go, “Well, never mind. I guess I am back to liking Kyrie. He beat my man Kemba so I guess we were all wrong about him. What a great guy and teammate!”
Kyrie Irving may be a better 1-on-1 player. I won’t say he definitely is, nor would I chalk this matchup up to Kyrie, but he is nowhere near as good of a Celtic when compared to Kemba. We don’t feel like Kemba is a better fit because of his 1-on-1 skill. Who cares about that? Games are played 5-on-5 and Kyrie Irving just proved that he still does not understand that.
One part of me wants to see this. It would be pretty amazing to watch these two duke it out. However, the other part of me doesn’t even want to give Kyrie the potential satisfaction of winning. I know in his “Kyrie knows all” world, he’d think it means he has finally had the last word. So we shall see if it really happens… but just keep in mind, a 1-on-1 game proves absolutely nothing other than one guy may in fact be better when there are no teammates on the court.