J.R. Smith says Kyrie Irving was so good that he forgot LeBron James was even on the court

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Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith explained just how good Kyrie Irving was during their time in Cleveland together on a recent episode of the Old Man and the Three podcast.

Smith talked about how elite of a scorer Irving is, saying that he forgot that LeBron James was on the court during one Irving performance against the San Antonio Spurs.

“The things that he would do is – you would think Bron was on the bench,” Smith said. “The way he’s scoring. The way he’s just like – going nuts. We played a San Antonio game, he had 55 on Tony Parker. Oh my god, I forgot Bron was on the court.”

That’s some massive praise from Smith, and it shows just how respected Irving is as a player in the NBA.

During his time in Cleveland, Irving helped the Cavs make the NBA Finals and eventually win a title in the 2015-16 season. Cavs fans will never forget the 3-point shot that Irving hit over Stephen Curry to give the Cavs the lead over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

While Irving has bounced around a bit since his Cavs tenure, playing for the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets and most recently Dallas Mavericks, he is still one of the best guards in the NBA.

Irving was named an All-Star in the 2022-23 season. He finished the campaign averaging 27.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.

To play alongside a superstar like James, who may be the greatest player in NBA history, and outshine him on occasion is an amazing accomplishment.

Smith, who spent a good chunk of his later years of his career playing with James, is about as good of a source for Irving’s greatness as fans will find.

Irving is set to become a free agent this coming offseason, and it will be interesting to see where he lands next. The Mavericks, who traded for Irving at the trade deadline in the 2022-23 season, will likely try to keep him to avoid losing him for nothing in the open market.

An eight-time All-Star, Irving should be one of the more coveted players in free agency this coming offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.