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#pounditTuesday, May 21, 2024

Kyrie Irving had inflammatory response to booing Mavs fans

Kyrie Irving in his Mavericks uniform

Mar 5, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (2) in action during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that Kyrie Irving is beginning to go Kyrie Irving on another team.

Irving and the Dallas Mavericks suffered an absolutely pathetic loss on Friday. They fell at home 117-109 to the shorthanded Charlotte Hornets, who were playing on the second night of a back-to-back without their three leading scorers (LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Kelly Oubre Jr.).

Dallas fell behind by as many as 21 points in the second half and started hearing boos from their home crowd at American Airlines Center.

During his postgame press conference, Irving offered an inflammatory response to those booing.

“So what?” Irving said of the boos, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “You obviously want to play well, but you it’s only five people on the court that can play for Dallas Mavericks. 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.”

Here is the full video of Irving’s remarks (where you can tell that he was in a surly mood).

Despite Irving’s dismissiveness though, it is easy to see where the fans were coming from. The Mavs were 16-point favorites against the rancid, 23-win Hornets (who were effectively forced to field a G League roster on Friday night because of all their injuries). Instead of taking care of business at home in one of the most winnable games left on their schedule, Dallas inexplicably lost, dropping them to 36-38 (currently out of play-in tournament range entirely).

Of course, this was the inherent risk for the Mavs in trading for Irving, a supremely talented player but one with a volatile temperament who has torpedoed every franchise that he has played for in the last half-decade. But based on the comments Irving’s co-star also made after the loss to Charlotte, Dallas may have some deep-seated issues that go beyond any one individual.

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