Damian Lillard on Kyrie Irving: ‘I love the way Kyrie’s game looks’

Kyrie Irving
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons guard Frank Jackson and guard Braxton Key and guard Cade Cunningham during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nets superstar Kyrie Irving has plenty of supporters from the way he plays basketball, and you can add Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard to that list.

During an appearance on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay, Lillard was asked on the program if he had courtside seats, what player would he go and see. The first name that came to mind was Irving.

“I got courtside seats, I’m going to see Kyrie Irving,” Lillard responded. “I just love the way Kyrie play. I just love the way his game look. It’s his handles, but it’s just the way he moves and how he can play the game. He got the most beautiful game ever, just the way it looks.”

Nets fans have finally been able to see what Irving can do in person this season after he was finally able to play in Brooklyn after Mayor Eric Adams amended the private sector vaccine mandate. Thursday marked the third time this year that Irving has appeared on the Barclays Center floor.

It comes at a crucial time for the Nets, who entered Thursday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on an 8-3 run over their previous 11 contests. Brooklyn is battling for seeding in the East and is likely going to have to go through the play-in round just to make the playoffs.

Irving had a slow start to his first game as a full-time player in the Nets’ loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, but bounced back with a 24-point, 7-of-18 shooting performance on Tuesday in a close win over the Detroit Pistons. Irving looked as though he slowed down at certain points of the game, which may have been a sign of some fatigue catching up to him after making the jump from part-time.

“Games are coming fast,” Irving said on Tuesday. “I’m doing all I can, but yeah, this is what the end of the season has been like for the last few years, and it’s all gonna come down to the team that has the healthiest bodies, and we want to be one of those teams, so we’re doing everything possible to prepare from game to game. So just doing everything we can.”

Following Thursday’s showdown with the Bucks, the Nets will have five games left on their calendar before the postseason. Brooklyn still has important games on the calendar, but none against teams in the top tier of the Eastern or Western Conferences.