It’s been nine days since the Dallas Mavericks acquired Kyrie Irving in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Irving’s exit was the domino to fall, in what was a wild NBA Trade Deadline. Brooklyn later traded legendary forward, Kevin Durant, to the Phoenix Suns. The deal marked an end of an era for the Nets, a disappointing one to say the least.
When Irving and Durant first joined the team back in summer of 2019, many fans expected big things. Well, that wasn’t really what happened. The pair, along with eventual third-star James Harden, won just one playoff series together.
Things really began to fall apart for Brooklyn last season. Durant got injured, Irving was playing in half of the team’s games due to city-wide vaccination policies, and Harden requested a trade, eventually being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Beard and the Sixers took on the Nets at Barclays Center on February 12. While he was in town, Harden discussed his time with the Nets.
“I don’t look like the crazy one,” he said via ESPN. “I don’t look like the guy or the quitter or whatever the media want to call me. I knew what was going on, and I just decided to … hey, I’m not built for this. I don’t want to deal with that. I want to play basketball and have fun.”
Harden described the fact that the trio was on the court together so rarely as “frustrating,” but went on to wish his former teammates the best, saying, “hopefully everybody’s in a good place now and we can move on.”
But he also said “it was just something where I knew it wasn’t going to change.” So, he asked out the Nets gave him his wish, a deal done with the Sixers.
Now, what does this all have to do with Kyrie? Well, after Harden gave the media a glimpse into his time as a Net, Brian Windhorst and Nick Friedell talked about it on the Hoop Collective podcast.
“The consensus in talking to the other writers after we walked out and listened to him crush the situation and crush the fact that the organization didn’t do more to try and bring him back, the person he was talking to is Kyrie Irving,” Friedell said.
“I mean, he didn’t absolve the Nets, but my read on it was that he was basically saying this is Kyrie’s fault,” Windhorst chimed in.
Friedell responded, saying, “That goes to what all the people in the Nets organization feel.”
Luka Doncic Mesmerized by Kyrie Irving’s Fourth Quarter Scoring
While Harden might’ve been “sub-tweeting” Irving when discussing his time in Brooklyn, it sounds like Luka Doncic has been enjoying playing with Kyrie on the Mavericks.
Though Dallas suffered tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on February 13, Irving played a great game. He lead the charge for the Mavs down the stretch, scoring 26 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter. Doncic told the media that it was “unbelievable” to watch Uncle Drew heat up in the clutch.
“It was insane. All of the guys were just looking at each other wondering how he does that,” Doncic said via Landon Thomas. It was unbelievable to see, and he really got hot.”
DeAaron Fox Gushes over Mavericks’ Kyrie Irving
Doncic isn’t the only player who’s had good things to say about Irving lately. Sacramento Kings star DeAaron Fox praised the 30-year-old guard after his February 11 matchup with the Mavs.
“I love Ky(rie). I’ve watched him since he was in high school, then playing in college, since he got into the league,” he said via the Sacramento Kings YouTube channel. “He’s a great person, always looking out for others. Just genuine, down to Earth. He goes out and he’s a competitor, he wants to rip your throat out when you’re on the court. Outside of that he’s just a great person, great father, great family man… It’s just being a great person and a great competitor at the same time. I don’t really think you can ask for anything else.”