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The honeymoon is officially over between Kyrie Irving and Dallas Mavericks fans.
Irving was supposed to be the help Luka Doncic desperately needed. But since trading for Irving in early February, the Mavericks are 8-12. Luka and Irving as a duo? An unimpressive 3-7.
But the wheels really fell off Friday. In the second game of a back-to-back, the Mavs fell to the Charlotte Hornets — the fourth-worst team in the NBA. And as boos rang out across the American Airlines Center, it was clear fans are not pleased.
But Irving wasn’t having it.
“You obviously want to play well, but it’s only five people on the court that can play for the Dallas Mavericks,” the eight-time All-Star said. “If the fans wanna change places, then hey, be my guest. Got years of work ahead to be great enough to be on this level.”
But it’s not just the fans frustrating Irving. It sounds like the locker room dynamic might not be great.
“We’re still feeling each other out in a way of getting used to each other’s efforts and attitudes and temperament,” he said. “That’s a human element. Whether people believe it in basketball or not, there’s a very fine line between winning basketball games and everyone being on the same page and losing basketball games and things splintering and pointing fingers.”
Kyrie Irving implies the Mavericks lack chemistry.
And Doncic’s post-game interview seemed to confirm that statement. He looks like the saddest person you’ve ever seen.
Of course, it’s hard to point the finger at just one reason for the Mavericks’ lack of success. Irving and Doncic have both dealt with nagging injuries, and the defense was objectively awful (24th in the league) even before the trade.
Irving is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. And while we don’t know where he’ll end up, I’ll go ahead and make a bold prediction: It probably won’t be with the Mavs.