Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, recently shared his insights on the acquisition of Kyrie Irving and the superstar’s ability to adapt to his new team.
Appearing on the Pat Bev Pod, Cuban reflected on his initial perceptions of Irving and how they transformed as he got to know the enigmatic point guard.
Cuban acknowledged that from an outsider’s perspective, Irving’s journey through multiple teams might create certain perceptions. However, once Cuban delved deeper into discussions and connected with those who had worked closely with Irving, a different picture emerged.
“When you’re on the outside looking at somebody like Kai. I didn’t know him at all. And I just read the same stuff. And you see a dude bounce from team to team, to team, you get some perceptions. This is your perception of him,” Cuban said.
“But then I started talking to people before we did the deal. Everybody loved him. And Luka’s like ‘We need somebody else.’ He’s like, when you talk to people, people love Kai. And you watch after a game – yeah, guys will trade jerseys, this and that – people would just walk up and hug Kyrie… and would spend time and talk.
“And now that I’ve gotten to know Kai a lot better. That’s who he is. Kyrie wants to think about things. Kyrie wants to connect to people and connect to his history and know who he is. He wants to just take it to the next level personally.”
As the Mavericks re-signed Irving to a three-year, $120 million deal this summer, Cuban highlighted his awareness of his current position within the team and how it could affect his legcy.
“He recognizes that this is his game right here because if he gets bounced again, that’s like, can you be a Hall of Famer when you’re bounced to five teams even though you have Hall of Fame talent? So he knows and we’ve talked about it,” the owner said.
According to Cuban, Irving recognizes that the Mavericks belong to Luka Doncic and is fully supportive of the Slovenian’s leadership role.
“Kyrie is a super smart guy and he knows this is Luka’s team. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It is Luka’s team. He can play 2… Luka’s that good that when Luka’s in there, Kai needs to run to the corner, he’ll run to the corner. If they double him and he needs to come to the foul line, just get a bounce pass and play 4 on 3, what’s better than that?”