Tim McMahon | ESPNReading: 6 min.
LOS ANGELES – After his first practice with the Dallas Mavericks, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving said he felt “really loved” by his new team, having at times been “undermined” during his tumultuous three-year tenure. the opposite of doing. A season and a half with the Brooklyn Nets.
“I just know that I want to be in a place where I’m celebrated and not just tolerated or treated in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Irving said Tuesday after practice at USC’s Galen Hall. Don’t feel it.” “There were times during this process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt my talents were being disrespected; I put a lot of effort into what I do. However no one ever talks about my work ethic. Doesn’t. Everyone talks about what I’m doing.” Court, so I just wanted to change that narrative, write my story and continue to prepare in the gym and now I’m in Dallas to focus on what is in my control.
The Nets accepted Irving’s request to trade by agreeing to a deal on Sunday that sent him to the Mavericks along with forward Markieff Morris for guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Dorian Phinney-Smith, a 2029 first-round pick. No protection and two second rounds. players.
The successful trade satisfied Dallas’ desire to pair Luka Doncic with another superstar, at least for now, as Irving is in the final season of his contract. It also ended Irving’s drama-filled season in Brooklyn, which fell well short of the championship hopes built upon signing Kevin Durant to a package deal in the summer of 2019.
Irving averaged 27.1 points and 5.8 assists in 143 games for the Nets, but the focus was more on the woes off the court than the eight-time All-Star’s offensive prowess. He was absent twice during the 2020–21 season, missing much of the 2021–22 season after refusing to comply with New York’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, and appeared in part of the results after the Nets posted a link in November. as suspended. Twitter for a film with anti-Semitic tropes.
Irving requested trades to Brooklyn twice, one earlier this season that he turned down and another last week that led to him becoming the Maverick. His latest trade request came in the wake of frustrated contract extension negotiations.
Irving said, “I’m not really the person to talk names behind his back and try to leak to the media.” “That’s never been me. Now I’m part of the audience, watching people say things about me that end up blowing my mind. I’m really in a place where I’m grateful that I have grown over the past year and a half, two years. spending time away from the basketball court has really given me time to appreciate life in a new way and i know i need healthy boundaries, especially this In the entertainment business, there’s a lot of disrespect with people’s families, with their names and it doesn’t deserve it, so it’s nothing personal against any of those people, against the front office.
“It’s what I’m willing to take and I took a chance. Luckily, the Dallas Mavericks took me.”
Irving cited the lack of “transparency and honesty from the people in the front office” as a reason he did not feel comfortable continuing his career with the Nets. Brooklyn has won just one playoff series during Irving’s tenure and has granted midseason trade requests from the All-Star guard the past two years, sending James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.
“I don’t want to go into too much detail because it’s something that’s already happened,” said Irving, who cited his relationships with Dallas coach Jason Kidd and general manager Nico Harrison as factors in his comfort level with the Mavs. cited as “I wish him all the best. I left him in fourth place. I did what I was supposed to do, I took care of my teammates, I was incredibly selfless in my approach to leadership and I just did everything myself. I want to fix it – not to appease anyone who has anything negative to say about me or judge me. This game of basketball is just for fun and I want to keep it that way.
Irving, 30, and Doncic, 23, are expected to immediately become one of the most dynamic duos in the NBA once Doncic is cleared to return from an injured right heel. Irving will make his Mavs debut on Wednesday night against the LA Clippers; Doncic will miss his third straight game, but will travel to Los Angeles to watch the game from the bench.
“It’s not about two 23-year-olds trying to see who’s the alpha,” Kidd said. “We understand that this is Luca’s team and it will be Luca’s team … But now we have reformed the list where someone else can handle the ball.
Irving, who said he has texted Doncic since the trade but has yet to speak with his co-star, has previously concluded with MVP contenders. He played a central role in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2015–16 championship run and three straight Finals appearances, playing alongside LeBron James, who expressed disappointment that the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to acquire Irving last week. He starred alongside Jason Tatum with the Boston Celtics, Durant with the Nets, and TeamUSA’s Assorted Superstars.
With a laugh, Irving noted that playing Doncic would be the first time he would team up with “one of those nasty European guys” who would probably dominate Doncic while playing at a pace not seen since Larry Bird. Is. Irving, who like Doncic, is an elite isolation and pick-and-roll maker, is confident they’ll figure out how they fit in best.
Irving said, “It’s still a wait-and-see kind of thing, but I think as a player, am I concerned that we co-exist and find harmony? Nope.” “So as much as I can comfort him, as much as I can lead with him, I’m willing to do it, but there’s no pressure here. There’s no compulsion between me and him. I just want to play basketball and I want to enjoy it.” Enjoy the talent and my mates. Tools”. ‘Talent and the Work Towards a Championship’.
Irving joined the Mavericks with no guarantee from either side that he would return to Dallas the following season. He could become an unrestricted free agent this summer and has no intention of discussing a contract extension during the season, when Irving will be limited to a two-year deal as he was recently traded.
“There’s no rush,” Irving said. “I’ll just be patient and let those pieces stay where they are.
“Once again, I’ll keep saying it. I’ve got to keep my balance and control what I can control: my effort on the court, my attitude. These are the things I bring to every day and I just want to focus on ” That. The commercial aspect of it is ruthless. That’s why I don’t want to get distracted. I just want to participate.