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Byron Scott was quite clear about who impressed him more between a 2nd year Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving ...
Scott coached the '05-06 ROY in Paul and coaches the '11-12 ROY in Irving and was a damn good NBA guard himself.
When asked about Irving's potential on Sunday he did not fawn over his young point guard's potential as much as you'd think.
"It really depends on Kyrie, how good he wants to be," Scott said. "In talking to him, he wants to be one of the best. Right there, that’s a good start. A lot of it just depends on how hard is he willing to work to get there. That’s going to be the key. Like I said, talent wise, he has just about as good of talent as anybody in the league at that position."
What about Paul?
"Chris as the same age, probably one of the toughest kids I’ve seen at that age and probably more determined than I’ve ever seen anybody," Scott said. "His competitive nature was probably as high as I’ve seen anybody at that age."
And here's the rub:
"Kyrie, he has some ways to go with that," Scott said.
What sets Chris apart from Kyrie in Scott's mind?
"His leadership, I thought Chris was much more of a leader at 20-years old," Scott said. "Right away you could tell that that’s what he was all about. Kyrie is getting to that point. He’s learning to be a leader. They have a bunch of similarities and then they have a lot of things that aren’t nowhere near the same. I’ve been lucky. I’ve coached Chris Paul, who I think is the best point guard in the league, and I’m coaching a guy who could very arguably be the best point guard in the league in the next few years."
OK, how about Irving vs. the 17-year old Kobe Bryant?
"I had Kobe as a rookie when I played here my last year, so I didn’t get to play with Kobe in his fourth, fifth, sixth year when he really started to establish who he was a basketball player," Scott said. "I got to see Chris every day for four years, so I saw him grow into that role and the type of competitor, I mean, just hate to lose in anything. And I know Kobe is the same way. I know how competitive he is as well. But, like I said, I was with CP and was able to see that on a day-to-day basis and I still haven’t been around a player or coached a player that’s been that competitive."
"I called Chris the first day that I met him, he was the silent assassin with the baby face, Mr. Nice Guy, but when he gets on the court he will do whatever it takes to win a basketball game. I don’t know if Kyrie is there yet. We’ve always talked about that. Can he get there? Yeah. I still think so, yeah."