Kyrie Irving may be a controversial figure in the NBA but he is also one of the best players in basketball over the last decade or so. Irving's handles are arguably the best of any player in his generation and his ability to score from just about any position makes him an incredibly tricky customer for defenders to deal with.
Unfortunately, since his move to the Brooklyn Nets, injuries and off-court controversies have cost Irving precious time on the court. At the age of 29, Irving should be playing the best basketball of his career, but the continuity has been missing for him to have made an impact next to Kevin Durant and James Harden. Irving however, seems to think he's slowly inching towards his best.
Kyrie Irving: "I think I'm slowly crawling into my prime."
Technically, the prime of an athlete's career is considered to be between the ages of 26 to 31, so Kyrie should have been in his prime over the last three years. However, thanks to his falling out with the Celtics and subsequent injuries and vaccination stance since he moved to Brooklyn, Kyrie has played just 81 games in the last 3 seasons, less than one entire normal regular season.
His return to the Brooklyn Nets is also unlikely to make a drastic difference to his numbers, as Kyrie is not allowed to play in home games at the Barclays Center. His stance against COVID-19 vaccination bars him from playing in Brooklyn, so he more or less has played every other game for the franchise.
If everything else gets figured out, there is no doubting Kyrie's ability on the floor and with the experience he now has, he could dominate at the very highest level. It remains to be seen if Irving can find a way to get himself on the court more often or, 'What could Prime Kyrie have been?', might end up being a common debate after he eventually retires from basketball.