Why Tracy McGrady believes Kyrie Irving has ‘deeper bag’ than Steph Curry

Why T-Mac believes Kyrie has ‘deeper bag’ than Steph originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

There’s a general consensus that Steph Curry is the best shooter in the NBA — and perhaps in the history of basketball — but ranking him among the best ball-handlers in the league ignites debate.

At least, if you ask Tracy McGrady. That’s what NBC Sports Bay Area’s Grant Liffman did on the Dubs Talk podcast, where the former NBA star was a guest and compared to Curry’s handles to that of Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving.

McGrady — who is also the founder of Ones Basketball League, a new one-on-one basketball league — claimed that Irving has more in his bag of tricks.

“It has to do with the handles, the creativity with the handles,” McGrady said. “Although Steph has good handles and can get his shot, it’s not like Kyrie’s though. And it may be because of the flashiness. There’s a difference when I watch both of those guys handle the rock. I think Kyrie’s bag is a little bit deeper than Steph’s. I’ll use that term: The bag is deeper. Steph has a bag. But it’s not Kyrie’s bag.”

But flashiness is not the only factor when it comes to ball-handling skills, as Liffman pointed out. For Curry, his unparalleled shooting ability creates a “level of panic for a defender” that can translate to having more space and time to dribble, according to Liffman.

McGrady affirmed that he was only comparing Curry and Irving’s respective abilities to be creative in space with the handles.

“I think because we see Steph with this catch-and-shoot, coming off the screens, I don’t think we see as much of Steph breaking someone down,” McGrady said. “When the game’s on the line, or in crunch situations, do we really see Steph doing a lot of [things] like Kyrie [with] the ball in his hand? And the creativity that we see out of him, do we see that out of Steph? I’m posing the question, I don’t know.”

Related: ‘I love Steph, man’: Kyrie heaps praise on Curry’s legacy

Irving’s dribbling moves are undeniably some of the flashiest in the league, but Curry has also shown his ability to keep the defense honest with his ball-handling skills and drives to the basket. Still, McGrady isn’t the only former NBA player to prefer Irving’s handles to that of Curry’s, with Jason Williams — who was a fancy dribbler too back in his day with the Sacramento Kings — ranking Irving’s dribbling skills over Curry’s.

Curry and Irving are two of the best point guards in the game and both can shoot and dribble at an elite level — though it’s clear there are different elements that they each bring to the court.

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