Despite the fact he’s 14th in three-point percentage and is top 20 in threes per game, it’s kind of hard to picture Kyrie Irving as a three-point shooter. It’s just that he’s too good at everything on offense to just pin him down as a shooter, and that’s why his inclusion among this year’s three-point contest is a bit weird. It feels like he’s a little better than just being a three-point contest guy. He’s young though, so it’s cool.
Nonetheless, despite Irving’s shooting prowess, Byron Scott still thinks he can beat his young star in a shooting contest, even though he’s spent nearly as many years coaching basketball as playing. From the News-Herald:
Cavaliers coach Byron Scott said he challenged point guard Kyrie Irving to a 3-point shootout after practice on Tuesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. Scott wouldn’t say if the media would be invited to this must-see event.
Irving has been invited to the Three-Point Contest during All-Star weekend in Houston. Scott competed in the event twice — a last-place finish in 1987 and a third-place performance in ’88.
“I challenged him today,” Scott said. “We’ll go around twice. He’s talking a lot. I think I have a good shot at (beating him). My only problem is if I get tired.”
No offense to Byron Scott, who remains the NBA’s best Byron, but my money will be on Kyrie Irving for this shootout. There’s no doubt in my mind that Byron could get hot and put up a decent score, but there’s also no doubt in my mind that Byron is also going to get tired during this contest. That’s his fault though, considering he’s the one who came up with this idea in the first place. Also, even though it’s only a season-and-a-half in to his career, Kyrie shoots a little more than four percentage points higher from three than his coach did in his career. I’d have to say Irving is the prohibitive favorite here, mostly because he is currently an NBA player.
However, it’d be really great if this sort of thing catches on. I’d love to see Vinny Del Negro challenge Eric Bledsoe to a dunk contest on an 8-foot rim or Gregg Popovich taking on Tony Parker in the Skills Challenge. Or Gregg Popovich doing anything, actually.
In reality though, a three-point contest is the best bet for these old guys. In fact, I’d even watch a coaches’ three-point contest as part of an All-Star Weekend undercard. Just so long as Tyrone Corbin isn’t included. Too sweaty.