For the first time since he was traded from Brooklyn to the Mavericks, Kyrie Irving spoke with the media about the move. The star point guard expressed joy about joining the Dallas organization, in part because he didn’t feel like the Nets treated him properly.
“I just want to be places where I’m celebrated and not tolerated or dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Irving said. “There are times throughout this process in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected.”
After 3 1/2 seasons with the Nets, Irving requested a trade from the team on Friday after contract extension talks reportedly broke down. Brooklyn found a trade partner in Dallas, sending Irving and Markieff Morris for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks.
Irving was asked to specify why he felt disrespected by the Nets, but he declined to answer the question.
“I think that’s another day where I can really go into detail about it,” Irving said. “I’m not the person to really speak on names or go to someone behind their back and leak stuff to the media. That’s never been me.”
Irving’s tenure in Brooklyn was controversial, in part because he couldn’t play much of the 2021-22 season because he wasn’t vaccinated against COVID-19. He also was suspended by the team earlier this year for amplifying an antisemitic film on social media. Irving tweeted an apology for the incident, but later deleted it amid the trade to Dallas.
While Dallas clearly wanted to add Irving, head coach Jason Kidd maintained that the team’s offense will run through star Luka Dončić even after Irving gets acclimated to the team.