Kyrie Irving- Kemba Walker comparison - one factor stands out

There have already been a slew of Kemba Walker-Kyrie Irving comparisons, and that won't go away anytime soon. The basic stats for last season show Kemba to get the slight nod on minutes, points and free throw attempts, while Kyrie wins (slightly) on assists, rebounds and shooting accuracy. It gets real close on handles, with Irving coming out ahead, but once again, only slightly. They are both shifty as Hell.

It is the free throw attempts that stand out - 5.5 attempts/game for Walker and 3.7 for Irving. Kyrie avoids contact on his drives into the paint, while Walker absorbs the bumps and prods. But overall, on skills, these two guards are neck-and-neck. Take a quick look at Tomek Kordylewski's video below, as well as Barb's note about Timi and his job search.



So what stands out in the Kyrie versus Kemba comparison. One thing does stand apart from this very close race, and that would be the two NBA Sportsmanship awards presented to Walker in consecutive years, 2017 and 2018. There is only one such award given out each year, so this DOES NOT mean Irving and Walker are miles apart when it comes to sportsmanship. It just means for those two seasons, Kemba outperformed every other NBA player in that category. He was outstanding. What is the award all about (per Wikipedia)?

The NBA Sportsmanship Award is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given to a player who most "exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court with ethical behavior, fair play, and integrity.

"Ethical behavior, fair play and integrity". These attributes can not be quantified, but they can be discerned over the course of a season. Hopefully, Kemba can employ those qualities to accomplish what the Celtics team generally failed to do last season - namely to play as a team and trust each other. This will be what Marcus Smart called a "do-over". An over-achieving season would be welcome.

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Comments

  1. Brother Andrej
    @BriGGySmaLLzb
    Replying to
    @CelticsSentinel
    What really stands out is how humble Kemba is and he "just wants to win games". He's ready to learn from younger player and elevate everyone's game.
    Sounds pretty good to me. And it sounds like we can expect to have fun watching our team play

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  2. I believe that Kemba runs and leads the fast break more than Irving does, as Irving seems to like to rely on his sometimes unstoppable (though not against Milwaukee) moves in the half court. Throw in those intangibles like sportsmanship, character, and playing virtually every game in a season (unlike divas such as James, Davis, and Irving), and for me anyway the scales tip in Kemba's favor. I've seen analysis that says Walker just might bring out the best in the athletic Brown, who is at his best when running.

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  3. Getting the defensive rebound to Kemba for the long, quick outlet pass could be a decent weapon. Just finished watching a re-run of the 2004 Pistons destroying the powerful Lakers. They just beat the hell out of LA with a running game. Delightful to watch. Thanks for the idea. That Kemba/Jaylen duo, if Brown starts, could be very effective.

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