Kyrie Irving had his first practice with Dallas and spoke to the media for the first time ahead of his maiden game with the team tomorrow.
“As much as I can lead alongside him, there’s no pressure here, nothing’s forced with me and him,” Irving said. “I just want to enjoy playing basketball, enjoy his [Luka Doncic] talent and my teammates’ talent and work towards a championship.”
Kevin Durant and the Nets were hoping to chase a championship this season and Irving was going to be part of that before he requested a trade earlier this week.
“I just know I want to be in a place where I’m celebrated and not just tolerated or just dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Kyrie said. “There were times throughout this process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected. And my talent — I work extremely hard (in) what I do. No one ever talks about my work ethic. Everyone talks about what I’m doing off the floor. I just wanna change that narrative (and) write my own story.”
The hope is that Irving can help Doncic out with scoring and create a bit more of a balanced team that can win a title themselves.
“I think this is going to be my first time seeing one of those bad Europeans come over and really dominate up close,” Irving said of Doncic. “And have the opportunity to do it at a pace that I don’t think has ever been seen before other than like Larry Bird, or just somebody else that just plays at their own pace, scores a bunch of points and is constantly in the MVP conversation every year.”
Irving’s first game for the Mavs is set to be against the Clippers on their home court tomorrow night.