Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving is one of the most polarizing players in the entire league. There are those who love and support him, and there are those who think his off-court antics are a bit too much.
Regardless, there’s no denying that he is one of the most talented players in the world. He’s a very gifted scorer and regarded by many as the best ball-handler in the history of the NBA.
Despite that, he endured a pretty rough 2021-22 campaign. He missed many Nets games due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Duke University product also wasn’t able to help the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs last season.
Sports pundit Bill Simmons recently stated on his podcast that Irving has not been an impact player in the playoffs for the past five years.
“I’m really confused by the perception of Kyrie Irving versus how it compares to the facts because the facts are, for the last five years, he has not been an impact guy in the playoffs at all,” said Simmons. “The last time he was truly an impact guy in the playoffs was the 2017 playoffs, which he was awesome.”
It’s widely known that Simmons is a huge fan of the Boston Celtics, one of the teams that Irving used to play for. The former No. 1 overall pick only played in one postseason with the Celtics. During the 2019 NBA Playoffs with Boston, Irving only averaged 21.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game while knocking down just 38.5 percent of his shots from the field and 31.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
While it’s certainly possible that Simmons is still a bit upset that Irving was unable to ever lead the Celtics to an NBA title, the media personality definitely makes a good point.
Irving was still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2017 NBA Playoffs and recorded 25.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in 18 contests. One of his best performances during that postseason came against the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals, as he went off for 40 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Given all that has transpired this offseason, Irving would surely love to help the Nets make it back to the playoffs and show the world that he can still be an impact player in the postseason.