Warriors’ Andre Iguodala Praises Kyrie Irving for His Performance in the 2016 NBA Finals

Published 09/18/2021, 12:03 AM EDT
Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) and Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) return to the locker room after defeating the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, June 13, 2016. Cleveland defeated Golden State 112-97. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)


We have seen many iconic finals in the history of the NBA. From crazy comebacks to pure dominance, the NBA finals have seen it all. However, the 2016 NBA finals between LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers against Golden State Warriors may top the list. An iconic block followed by a clutch shot from Kyrie Irving sealed the deal.

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Cleveland saw themselves down 3-1 in the NBA finals in 2016. Moreover, they were up against a 73-9 Warriors led by league MVP, Stephen Curry. Despite the obstacles in front, Cleveland went on to win that year by winning a Game 7 at the Oracle.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (6) talks with Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kyrie Irving (2) during media day the day before Game 1 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

LeBron James received Finals MVP for his contributions in the series. However, one player that went under the radar was Kyrie. Not only did he hit the shot that won Cleveland the championship, but he also had some important performances. Warriors’ Andre Iguodala knows his importance.

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Iguodala impressed with Kyrie Irving

Irving was the second star behind LeBron in 2016. While he did not rival his numbers, without him, Cleveland wouldn’t have won the championship. Especially considering his impact late in the game. He was the Cavaliers go-to guy in crunch time.

Then Warriors player, Andre Iguodala, had high praise for Irving’s 2016 masterclass. The former Finals MVP said: “It don’t bother me…… we took a lot from Kyrie Irving… What he did that entire series, it was like yo, don’t take away from what he did.”

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Apart from draining the clutch three to win the finals, he also had other valuable contributions. His Game 5 performance is one of the many. Irving and James became the first set of teammates to score 40 points each in an NBA finals game.

Jan 20, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

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He ended the series, averaging 27.1 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.1 steals. He was the second-best scorer behind James for the entire finals series. There would be no way that Cleveland could force such an incredible comeback if Kyrie Irving did not play the way he did.

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Do you think Kyrie is one of the best players in the NBA right now? Let us know your views in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

373 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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