The top 75 players in NBA history were revealed on October 22, 2021. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is being dubbed the biggest snub since he’s an eight-time All-Star, three-time Defensive Player of Year, one-time champion, and eight-time All-NBA team member. However, Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala believes not enough people are talking about Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving.
Arguably the most polarizing player in the NBA today, Irving wasn’t named a top 75 player of all time. Iguodala, who has faced Uncle Drew three times in the Finals, thinks the voters made a mistake.
Andre Iguodala: Kyrie Irving got snubbed
Not only does Iguodala think Irving got snubbed from the top 75 list, but he also believes the Nets star is a top 20 player of all time. It was a controversial take, and the Warriors veteran got destroyed by some fans in his Twitter comments.
In 582 regular-season games with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Nets, Irving is averaging 22.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. He won the 2011-12 Rookie of the Year Award and the 2016 championship with the Cavs and has made seven All-Star and three All-NBA teams.
Irving has appeared in 70 postseason games since entering the NBA in 2011 as the No. 1 overall draft pick. He has playoff averages of 23.4 points and 4.8 assists and hit the game-winning shot over the Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, a series Iguodala played in. The Warriors forward clearly thinks Irving’s basketball skills are being overlooked, and you could make a case that the Nets guard should have made the top 75 players list over Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard since Lillard has never won a title.
However, Iguodala is incorrect when he says Irving is a top 20 player of all time.
Sorry Andre Iguodala, Kyrie Irving is not a top 20 player of all time
Irving is certainly one of the best ball-handlers and finishers from the guard position in NBA history. He’s crossed over hundreds of players and finished in heavy traffic when it looked like there was no way he could.
However, he doesn’t have the résumé to be a top 20 player. The Duke product has never won a regular-season MVP or Finals MVP. He also missed the playoffs his first three years in the NBA before LeBron James and Kevin Love came to the Cavs in the summer of 2014.
With that said, Irving probably should have been named a top 75 player, especially if Lillard made the list. The Blazers star has never been to the Finals and has made one less All-Star team than Irving. The voters may have used their personal feelings about Irving to affect their votes. The 29-year-old doesn’t have a good relationship with the media, and he’s currently not with the Nets since he hasn’t taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
Iguodala thinks Irving is a top 20 player of all time talent-wise. After all, the 2016 champion is one of nine players in NBA history to shoot 50/40/90 in a season. However, these all-time lists take into account talent and accolades, and Irving doesn’t have enough personal awards to be in the top 20 despite being one of the most skilled guards ever.
Maybe Irving can make the top 100 list when the NBA names that group in 25 years. He’ll be on the outside looking in for the top 75 list and the Nets for now, though.
Uncle Drew could miss the entire 2021-22 season
Irving said on Instagram Live he’s not planning to retire. However, it doesn’t appear he’s changed his mind about the COVID-19 vaccine, which means he could miss the entire 2021-22 season and lose $16 million-plus in salary.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Irving isn’t anti-vax and is upset that Americans are losing their jobs due to vaccine mandates. One source said, “Kyrie wants to be a voice for the voiceless.” The Nets will welcome back Irving with open arms if he gets the COVID-19 vaccine. However, if he doesn’t, he’ll be homebound.
The Nets opened the 2021-22 season with a road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. They clearly missed Irving’s scoring and playmaking, so it will be interesting to see if Kevin Durant and James Harden try to persuade Irving to change his stance about the vaccine.