Kevin Durant had huge praise for one of his toughest NBA Finals opponents on Tuesday night. The Golden State Warriors superstar raved about Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving on The Bill Simmons Podcast, calling him better than Allen Iverson.
Simmons had the reigning NBA Finals MVP on his podcast on Tuesday night, and the two had a wide-ranging interview that recapped the Finals. Durant said a lot of interesting things—including that former president Barack Obama send him a text to say congrats. One of the most interesting moments came when Durant compared some of Golden State’s toughest opponents to some of the best players in league history.
“I was telling some of my friends,” Durant said. “Kyrie just makes you happy. He makes you happy when you watch him play. You just smile when you watch him play. Because it’s like, for somebody to be that skilled you know he had to work tirelessly at it. The stuff he has in his package is next level stuff that you can try to teach your kids to do it but you’ll never be able to do it.
“I’ve never seen anybody block his layup. And he’s 6-2. I’ve never seen one person pin his layup on the glass. Not one. I have so much respect for him because I know how much work he had to put in it to be that good. I’ve never seen nobody like him.”
Simmons described Irving like a car that has every possible option, while Durant says that “his bag is full of tricks.” Then Durant makes a direct comparison to the past.
“Kyrie’s better than AI, to me.” Durant said.
Simmons agreed, then the podcast settled for a bit. Realizing the weight of the claim he just made, Durant seemed to get a bit nervous that he might catch some hell from Iverson.
“I’m going for like, skill of skill. His handle is better,” Durant said before he started joking that someone will soon tell him to stop talking. “Somebody might tap me on the shoulder.”
Simmons jokingly said they might have to edit that part of the podcast out, and Durant agreed.
“We might have to cut that out I don’t want no problems with AI,” Durant said.
Still, the audio is available at about the 35 minute mark for your enjoyment, and it’s some significantly high praise from Durant towards Irving.