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Andre Iguodala Says He Fears Kyrie Irving More Than Stephen Curry In The Clutch

Andre Iguodala, No. 9 of the Golden State Warriors. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images Kyrie Irving of the Dallas Mavericks looks on during a game against the Utah Jazz at Delta Center on Jan. 1, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. GETTY IMAGES Stephen Curry. PHOTO BY JUSTIN FORD/GETTY IMAGES

Andre Iguodala won four titles with Stephen Curry, but when it comes to taking that last-second shot, there is nobody who scared him more than Kyrie Irving.

Appearing on The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo podcast, Iguodala confessed, “It’s not even close.”

Ryen Russillo: Tied game. Playoffs. Who are you most scared of?

Andre Iguodala: Kyrie Irving. It’s not even close. 

Ryen Russillo: Woah. So, wait. You’re going with Kyrie now over everybody we’ve talked about?

Andre Iguodala: For the last-second shot, I’m going with Kyrie. You’re talking about fear factor at any given moment, or for like, that moment, Kyrie. Because, I mean, with Steph, I think he’s shown that, at least, proven to teams that you can double him, or you can try to get the ball out of his hands, then I guess that’s the way to combat him. 

But with Kyrie, he’s just so good. You can’t get the ball out of his hands. Allen Iverson said Kyrie was the best ballhandler in NBA history, and I’ve been told crazy for saying that. But Kyrie, you talking about fear factor, you ask anybody in the league, that’s a scary guy to see.

Ryen Russillo and Andre Iguodala discussing why Kyrie Irving is scarier than Stephen Curry when taking the last-second shot

When talking about these things, it boils down to reputation. As Iguodala mentioned, many consider Irving’s handles the best the league has seen, including Allen Iverson and Jason Williams. The 31-year-old can get to any of his spots just because of his ballhandling.

In the Clutch Numbers: Kyrie Irving or Stephen Curry?

They say numbers don’t lie, so it’s always good to back up a claim using stats. So, what do the figures reveal?

In the 2023-24 season, the 35-year-old Curry was one hell of a clutch performer in percentages and volume. (Clutch here is defined as a three-point difference or less during the last 30 seconds of the game.) He makes 50 percent of his field goals (10 for 20), including 5 for 9 in deep tries. However, he only has a 9-12 record during these clutch games.

On the other hand, Irving doesn’t have the volume that Curry has. Nevertheless, he comes through when called upon. The Duke product made his two shots from the field (one three-pointer) and six of his free throws. More importantly, the Dallas Mavericks were 7-1 in these situations.

Looking at these stats makes absolute sense. Curry is relied on by the Golden State Warriors to carry them game in and game out, while Irving has Luka Doncic by his side. Doncic is another ballhandler and shotmaker who takes up a lot of usage, especially in the clutch. That’s why Irving had the luxury to take a backseat and play off of his All-NBA teammate.