LeBron James: Kyrie Irving has been reminding him of Dwyane Wade
LeBron James paid Kyrie Irving a pretty big compliment by comparing him to former teammate and longtime pal Dwyane Wade.
The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar was asked if his young teammate is starting to remind him of the much more experienced Wade. While he did temper his observation that Irving is similar to Wade in the way he can take over games late, what James had to say was a pretty flattering thing to say nonetheless.
“I mean, they’re both special in their own right,” James said of Irving and Wade, via cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. “Obviously Wade is a little older and has experienced a little bit more but as far as the fourth quarter, they both thrive on that in their life. They love the pressure situation and are not afraid to take the shot or if they miss a shot they’re not afraid to take the blame either. So I’ve been fortunate to play with two great guys.”
While James has played extremely well so far this postseason, averaging 23.5 points per game — not to mention the many intangibles he delivers that don’t show up in the box score — Irving is outpacing him by a scoring 24.4 points per game to lead the Cavaliers. Not only that, in the Cavaliers’ first-round sweep of the Detroit Pistons, Irving became the first teammate since Wade to lead a James-led team in scoring over an entire series.
Perhaps even more impressive is that Irving is averaging 5.5 assists this postseason, better than his 4.7 per game average in the regular season and something that became the reported cause of consternation among his teammates.
The news that Irving and James reportedly were suffering from a “real” disconnect as recently as March makes the Wade comparison all the more interesting, not to mention the purported issues the two have had to navigate ever since James made his return to Cleveland.
With James already eyeing a potential showdown with Wade and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals — perhaps he will be able to witness firsthand how Irving measures up to his best buddy and former teammate.