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Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving opened up about his past struggles and growth as he faces his former team, the Boston Celtics, in the NBA Finals.

Irving, now a seasoned 32-year-old veteran, acknowledges his past mistakes and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

In a candid admission, Irving revealed via, The Athletic, “I failed miserably, while also not knowing how to compartmentalize or accept the emotions that come with failure. And also being on the successful side, (I) didn’t know how to handle that either.”

Reflecting on his time with the Celtics, Irving takes accountability for his shortcomings and acknowledges that he wasn’t his best self during that period.

Addressing speculations about strained relationships with former teammates, Irving clarifies, “I think we’ve pretty much put it to bed (this idea) that a lot of my (former) teammates hate me. I’ve embraced all of those guys.”

As the NBA Finals unfold, Irving’s evolution as a player and a person adds another layer of intrigue to the matchup between the Mavericks and the Celtics.