Kyrie Irving Kept Receipts About ESPN’s Reaction to Dallas Mavs Trade

DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks have largely stayed healthy since early February, aside from a few injuries to complementary talents. The team has benefited significantly and ranks fifth in the Western Conference standings.

With Kyrie Irving playing in 27 consecutive games and Luka Doncic missing only one during this span, the Dallas Mavericks have gone 20-7 since February 5. As Irving described in March, there is a sample size to judge the partnership with both superstars staying healthy.

“Looks good, right? Now that we have a sample size, everybody could judge off of it instead of like every other game,” Irving said on MaIt feels good to play those amount of consistent games and get a feel for one another and really show what we’ve been working on in practice, too.”


Apr 2, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles past

After the Mavs achieved a 109-95 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, Irving referenced the initial reaction to his trade to Dallas from ESPN, which featured an unfavorable grade of “D.” Irving pointed to clinching a play-in spot this early as a sign of success that defies what naysayers may have felt in the past.

“Shoot man, I’ve got a meme in my photos as you know that professional athletes love memes that the media puts out,” Irving said after Thursday’s game. “ESPN gave us a grade D for the trade of me coming here. I think us clinching a playoff spot and putting ourselves in a great position definitely answers some of those questions that were asked last season by some of the naysayers and all of that stuff. It’s a great moment to again answer those questions and succeed in clinching a playoff spot.”

As a leader, Irving has frequently stayed calm with messaging, highlighting the importance for the group to embrace incremental progress. Even when the team struggled for a stretch after the All-Star break, he told fans, “We’re going to be okay.” He continued to state the importance of focusing on the moment and not relishing on failure given how much can change on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

“Life is about redemption man, especially in sports, where anybody can say anything and something can happen in the next day, next two weeks, or next few months that leads you to succeeding at a very high level or failing at a high level,” Irving said. “It just comes with it. So, it’s always about redemption everyday that you wake up and just trying to be better. So, it feels good.”

The Mavs will face another challenge on Friday night when they take on the Warriors in a rematch after already having lost to Golden State at Chase Center on Tuesday in a 104-100 defeat.

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