May 18, 2011, 11:37 AM EDT
The comparison is a natural one.
The last time Cleveland had the No. 1 overall pick it had a no-brainer of a choice and picked LeBron James. Seven years later he left in a messy way. Then the Cavaliers won the top pick in the NBA Draft and they are going to select Kyrie Irving out of Duke.
But don’t start comparing the two, Irving told the Bergen Record at the NBA Draft Lottery.
“I don’t think you can make comparisons to me and LeBron,” said Irving, who attended the lottery. “One, I’m not 6-8. Two, I’m not a high flyer and three, my name isn’t LeBron James. Honestly, you can’t make those comparisons yet. I think I would bring a different feel to the Cleveland organization if they do decide to take me.”
It will be a different feel for sure, Irving is good but he is not the physical force of nature that LeBron is. Irving is more pure point guard who is crazy good if you let him get to his left hand on the drive.
Irving is a good fit with what Byron Scott likes to do on offense. But he is not LeBron or Derrick Rose or even John Wall in terms of impact. As we said before, scouts say more like the impact of Stephen Curry — good, borderline All-Star good, but not top 10 in the game good.
Maybe those scouts are wrong, maybe Irving will be that good and be a franchise cornerstone for a decade. Maybe he can fill LeBron’s shoes in Cleveland. But Irving himself doesn’t want the comparison.
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