Kyrie Irving played for the Boston Celtics for two seasons from 2017-19 that were defined by championship hopes, head-turning plays, failed expectations, injuries and, ultimately, not the sweetest exit.
It wouldn't be a stretch for Celtics fans to view Kemba Walker, who the team signed prior to the 2019-20 campaign, as the more favorable replacement point guard, but Irving wants the chance to prove he is the better player in a one-on-one matchup.
Irving joined professional basketball player Darryl "Truck" Bryant on Instagram Live (h/t Dakota Randall of NESN) to discuss rumors he wants to play some of his peers in one-on-one games and didn't shy away from a potential showdown with Walker:
"Me and K-Walk, I want that matchup. I want K-Walk. Me and K-Walk … we have to. Me and K-Walk, that's my matchup. I want K-Walk. … That's my big bro. You know we got mutual respect, but I know everybody wants to see it—out of New York, New Jersey. Every time we play against each other it's always a game. He gave us 40, I gave him 40. Back-and-forth, that's just part of where we grew up."
It's not difficult to guess where Celtics fans would fall when it comes to picking a favorite.
After Irving told an arena of Boston fans he planned on re-signing with the team at one point, he instead chose the Brooklyn Nets last offseason. Malika Andrews of ESPN noted in November that Celtics fans chanted "Where is Kyrie" and "Kyrie sucks" when the Nets visited Boston for the first time after that decision even though Irving was sidelined with an injury.
One fan even held up a sign that said "Kemba > Kyrie."
Perhaps they can settle that debate once and for all in a one-on-one matchup.