Tracy McGrady uttered yet another controversial statement that would send NBA fans to a long night of debating. In his view, the Brooklyn Nets duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are better than LeBron James/Dwyane Wade, and Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen. One could assume that at least one player from the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls duo would react violently to McGrady’s statement. Interestingly, Wade approved of the Hall of Famer’s assessment.
According to McGrady, Durant and Irving are probably the best duo he’s ever seen — skill-wise. He went on to put the Nets stars over the legendary tandem of Jordan-Pippen, whose team-up produced six titles in six NBA Finals trips. McGrady even chucked in LeBron and Wade into the argument, a duo that produced two titles in four trips.
“Without a doubt. Without a shadow of a doubt. I haven’t seen a pair, a duo that skilled… maybe Mike and Pipp (Scottie Pippen)… there’s no other dynamic duo that compares to KD and Kyrie… even if you look at what LeBron and D-Wade (Dwayne Wade) was, skill-wise, they still not touching them two boys,” McGrady said.
Wade understood where McGrady was coming from. He didn’t see it as a diss or a way to discredit what he did with LeBron in Miami. Besides, McGrady was careful with his choice of words. He emphasized that Irving and Durant are only better than the two duos “skill wise.”
Irving is easily one of the greatest ball-handles and ring finishers that the NBA has ever seen. He’s also one heck of a clutch performer. Take time to recall his 3-point shot in the dying seconds of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Meanwhile, Durant has been tagged as the greatest scorer of his generation. His colleagues are amazed at how scoring seems to come so easy for him. And so, the entire league and its fans immediately had bright prospects upon the tandem’s creation in 2019.
While McGrady seems to have high hopes for the Brooklyn duo, they have yet to win a title, not even having a significant playoff run. The Nets seem to have a fighting chance against the second-seeded Boston Celtics this year. But this wasn’t the expectation set by the fans. The Nets should’ve been at least the leading candidates on the East. Not a team that made the postseason by the skin of their teeth.
Critics argue that injuries and off-court controversies involving Irving derailed the Nets’ potential. Yet these challenges are part of the game. These are the mazes that the entire organization — both the team and the front office — have to navigate.