The Dallas Mavericks have gone 5-13 since Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving played their first game together, and things went from bad to worse when they suffered consecutive losses to the struggling Charlotte Hornets on Friday and Sunday respectively.
Following a recent loss, a dejected Doncic seemed to suggest that Dallas’ horror run has sucked all the joy from the game.
“Yeah, it’s really frustrating,” he said. “I think you can see it with me on the court. Sometimes I don’t feel it’s me. I’m just being out there. I used to have fun, smiling on the court, but it’s just been frustrating…”
On Sunday, Kyrie Irving was asked for a response to Doncic’s comments.
“I’m sure he’s had some private time to acknowledge it, but when he acknowledges it in a public eye, I think it’s usually suppressed emotions from a long period of time and he just wanted to get it out off of his chest,” Irving said. “I’m proud of him for being honest and open.
“We obviously talked about it in the locker room briefly, but for me, I’ve said throughout my whole entire year, this past year, of just really paying attention to the human element. The wins and losses come and go, but the kind of nitpicking of judgment of what’s going on when someone says, ‘I’m having human emotions,’ and then it goes to what’s the blame or who’s the blame? And it starts pointing fingers.
“You know, that’s the aspect that I don’t enjoy about this sport at all. There’s a human element that goes into this where we perform every single day. You know, this is a 24/7 job. I don’t think people realize that, at times, that are not entrenched with us…”
Despite being the fourth seed before Irving and Doncic joined forces, the 36-39 Mavs are currently 11th in the West.
The timing couldn’t be much worse for Dallas, who are running out of time to get their season back on track with just seven games remaining in the regular season.
To make matters worse, Doncic picked up his 16th technical of the season on Sunday and will serve an automatic one-game suspension as a result.