There’s been a lot of expectations for Kyrie Irving since he came to Dallas. Positive ones for the actual basketball fit, and more negative expectations for all the rest.
But here, almost two months in, the Kyrie Experience in Dallas has been nothing but positive.
That’s why it’s been infuriating to watch the national media misquoting and spinning Kyrie Irving’s words into half truths for clicks and controversy - and directly framing him as that troublemaker he may or may not have been in the past - despite no signs of that being the case in Dallas.
If you, like me, watch the pressers and interviews, read the full quotes and talk to people, who are around the team, you know what’s going on most of the time - and the coverage of Kyrie by the national media sticks out like a sore thumb.
He’s often being portrayed as something he is not, narratives of his past kept alive for clicks, revenue and attention. But the media has a certain responsibility to cover a person or event according to the truth, and the ignorance or ignoring of media ethics in this connection is just astounding.
The good news is that the Dallas media is doing a much better job covering Kyrie Irving objectively. Dallas is a smaller market, certainly than Brooklyn, and the media here has tried to focus on basketball rather than Kyrie’s past. That seems to have done a lot of good to Kyrie, who’s been insightful, respectful and positive to the media in pressers, answering questions in detail and taking his time despite losses.
This is me speculating here, but I have a feeling that the Dallas media attitude fits Kyrie Irving’s temper and disposition much better - and that he’s quite happy in Dallas despite the losses in part due to his reception and treatment in Dallas.
This is Kyrie Irving’s very long (and thoughtful) answer to what its been like being traded midseason for the first time in his career, which is where the “it kind of looks like a little bit of a clusterfuck” quote came from. pic.twitter.com/Pt5jHtC9MU— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 30, 2023
I’m not going to lie, I was not a fan of Kyrie Irving coming to Dallas. I don’t like off-court drama, I think it takes away from the actual basketball being played and the chemistry a team needs to be able to contend.
But from the very first time Kyrie opened his mouth in a presser as a Maverick, he’s done nothing but prove me wrong.
And the truth is, just like Luka Dončić did at 16 and only a handful of other players have done, Kyrie Irving has captured a piece of my heart. He did it by simply being Kyrie Irving - the smiling, respectful, insightful and generous person as we’ve come to know him as a Maverick.
A guy who donates to locals in need and helps orphanages in Africa routinely, mostly under the radar - and who supports the local South Oak Cliff 2022 State Champions, though he just moved to the state.
Kyrie Irving rocking a South Oak Cliff 2022 state champions hat on the sideline tonight. #txhsfb pic.twitter.com/xbeFaXnVII— Kyle Grondin (@bykylegrondin) March 14, 2023
A guy who answers basketball questions in pressers thoughtfully, giving insight into how he and the team work - in ways we don’t see every day with this team.
A guy who cares about relationships, mentoring, guiding and encouraging guys like Jaden Hardy, Maxi Kleber and Luka Doncic.
I’m convinced that Kyrie Irving has made a conscious effort, aided by the less controversy seeking locals, to focus on basketball and positivity and that’s showing in Dallas.
From the beginning, he was talking about relationships and being that positive force for people around him. He’s had no attitude, no bad vibes, he’s been building up people, mentoring teammates and shown leadership. He’s been a ray of sunshine in a cloudy Dallas.
All of this despite losses and wobbly vibes, arriving to a team without direction or identity midseason and having no real time to get to know his teammates and organization in Dallas.
We were told to guard our hearts when Kyrie arrived. And there is a part of me that wants to say “If he stays”, “as of now”, “from what we’ve seen”.
He may not be here for long, he may just be an afterthought in a year or two, a whisper from the past when we thought two offensive stars could manage without much defensive help, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to enjoy it while it lasts.
And that’s how I’m going to look at the last few games of the season too, I’ve decided. This season may be a disaster, an embarrassment to the fans, the players, the FO, the organization and to Dallas - heck to the whole of Texas. But I’ll be damned if I’m not going to enjoy the two superstars playing together while I can.