Tracy McGrady: Kyrie, Durant Duo More Skilled Than LeBron, Wade or Jordan, PippenApril 20, 2022
Former NBA star Tracy McGrady believes the Brooklyn Nets duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is incredibly skilled. So skilled, in fact, that he doesn't think any other pair of teammates in history can measure up.
Not even Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, or LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
"I haven't seen a pair, a duo that skilled... Mike and Pip?" he said on Club Shay Shay with Shannon Sharpe, before the pair decided that KD and Kyrie had more overall skill.
"There's no other dynamic duo that compares to KD and Kyrie," McGrady continued. "Even if you look at what LeBron and D-Wade was, skill-wise, they still not touching them two boys."
It's probably important to talk about what McGrady and Sharpe seemed to be labeling as skill. In this case, it appears to translate to traits like finesse, shooting touch, handles, etc.
For instance, Durant's ability to hit every shot on the court and break down opponents off the dribble like a shooting guard, despite being a 7-footer, is incredible. Men his size have not traditionally had his handles, agility, shooting touch or coordination. He's one of the truly unique players the NBA has ever seen.
And it's arguable that nobody has ever had handles like Kyrie, a magician on the ball who is also an incredible finisher at the rim and excellent perimeter shooter. When it comes to creating their own shot, Durant and Irving have two of the deepest bags in NBA history.
So in terms of how Sharpe and McGrady were defining skill, they seemed to be differentiating being the most skilled duo from the broader conversation of who the best duo of all time might be.
For instance, Jordan and Pippen were vastly superior defenders to either Durant or Irving and won six titles. James is a visionary passer and paired with Wade to win two championships. There's a very strong argument that there are many other dynamic duos—Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and John Havlicek and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, for instance—that were better overall duos than KD and Kyrie.
When it comes to pure skill, Durant and Irving are tough to top. One duo that McGrady didn't mention was Durant and Steph Curry from the Golden State days. Curry's status as the greatest shooter in NBA history might give Irving a run for his money.
But beyond that, it's hard to find a more skilled duo in NBA history.