Skip: Kyrie Irving has embraced the opportunity to show he is more clutch than LeBron

Will Kyrie Irving prove his doubters wrong in Boston? Skip Bayless gives the answer to Shannon Sharpe.

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- I make out that these executives are all probably LeBron lovers.

- Oh, stop it, Skip.

- They resent the fact that Kyrie wanted out of Cleveland because he just didn't like playing with LeBron James. So they're holding that against Kyrie. They're being overly critical of Kyrie.

And I get it. He doesn't play great defense until it's really time. And when he's asked to, as he will be in Boston next year by Brad Stevens, that he'll shock people with how well he can play defense because I thought two years ago, in the finals against Steph, he was really good on defense. But you know what I love about all this?

- What?

- Comes down to this question-- overrated underrated, Kyrie Irving. Did playing with LeBron James help him, or did it hinder him? I'm going to go hinder. I'm going to go, now that he's set free from LeBron, now that he is the man in Boston, now that-- by the way Mr. Sharp-- he embraced the opportunity to go to the archrival and stay in the Eastern Conference, so he could go head to head, face to face, nose to nose with one LeBron James-- probably in the Eastern Conference finals-- I love it.

I think he embraced the opportunity to show you, Mr. Sharp, that he is better than LeBron James as far as leading a team that will now eclipse Lebron's team. I'm not saying he's a better overall player, but that he can be the man. That he can dethrone LeBron in the East. He could have said, hey, I want out of here, but get me to the west. Let me go to Phoenix. Let me go somewhere else.

But no. When presented the opportunity-- it sounded like he had sort of de facto-- you know, what do you call it, veto power, of the trade-- that he said, oh, I'd love to go to Boston.

- No, the only veto power he had is whether or not he would find a long term deal. He didn't have-- LeBron James has no trade.

- I got it. But he said, I will commit long term to Boston, right? And by the way, my Spurs really wanted Kyrie Irving, just for the record.

- And he wanted to go to the Spurs also.

- He did?

- Because Boston Celtics-- I'm looking at my list. My list says, Spurs, Minnesota, the Knicks and the Heat. Those were the teams, I mean. I'm looking for Boston-- can you pull up and see if Boston was on that original list? But go ahead, Skip.

- But again, that's an Eastern Conference team, not a Western Conference team because he wants a little piece of LeBron here.

- Why didn't he say the Nets?

- So what are we looking at here in Kyrie Irving? Well, he became the closer of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Did Michael Jordan need a closer? I never heard that. You know that's--

- This is not Michael Jordan. This is Kyrie. What do the execs say?

- OK, I don't care what they say. I know what I think. Because, in his career, in overtime games, Kyrie Irving has hit 48 of 50 free throws. That's just extraordinary. That's 96% of his free throws. LeBron career, over time, regular season is 74%, which is not bad, but it's not Mt. Rushmore.

- Can I ask you a question. Looking at your notes right there, how many of those overtime games came in his first three years when LeBron wasn't there?

- I don't know.

- What did your research [INAUDIBLE]?

- That's not for you to say.

- I don't really care.

- You going to let me have a turn?

- I'm just getting started. You're going to let me finish?

- OK, go ahead.

- So the shot of shots to win game seven of the finals in 2016? Game 7? Oh it's Kyrie Irving. And then, Christmas Day, who hit the shot of shots in the big marquee national game on Christmas, this last Christmas day?

Oh wait it was Kyrie Irving, beat Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors with a walk off shot over a great defender in Klay Thompson.

So now we've got a Kyrie Irving that had a chance to close game three of the finals, which is the turning point of this past finals, but, no, LeBron took it upon himself for the last five possessions. He said, nope, get out of my way. I'm going to make this happen.

And they blew a four point lead with a minute and a half left in a game in which Kyrie did score 38 points on 16 or 29. He didn't make his three point shots.

- How many did Bron have?

- 0 for 7, I forget.

- You ain't forget!

- And then the one game that Cleveland won in last year's finals, Kyrie scored 40. And then the greatest show I think I've ever seen put on in a regular season game-- post Michael Jordan, I guess Kobe's had a couple of them, but--

- Don't you say that Spurs game.

- That Spurs game. You want to talk about extraordinary? He scores 57, Kyrie did. They are draped all over him, and he hits a three? A buzzer beating three to send it to overtime? It was like 57 points, stunning.

Even you have admitted, when he was on your team because he was [INAUDIBLE].

- He's still [INAUDIBLE].

- Yeah, you say it sarcastically, [INAUDIBLE]. Best shot maker in basketball. Best handle in basketball. I think, as clutch as anybody in basketball. Russell Westbrook impressed me this year, but I don't think he's as clutche as this kid is.

So now he's got his chance. And he wants to show that he can out LeBron LeBron. So I'm going to stick on team Kyrie, except that team's now the Boston Celtics.

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