Mavs owner Mark Cuban stands by Kyrie Irving amid criticism: “I like him, he’s open, he’s smart”

The Mavericks’ choice to re-sign Kyrie Irving this offseason drew a lot of criticism from many quarters. Even way back, there were plenty of hot takes from experts and fans in response to the team’s initial choice to trade for him.

However, after Dallas decided to sign Irving in a three-year, $126 million deal, team owner Mark Cuban—who on January 4, 2000, paid $285 million to H. Ross Perot Jr. for the majority of the Dallas Mavericks—was quite open in an interview at the 2023 NBA Summer League.

Cuban hails Kyrie Irving character and basketball IQ

Mark Cuban went so far as to claim that Kyrie Irving is “misunderstood” on two separate occasions during an interview on SiriusXM NBA radio with J. Termine and F. Isola, including when the guard was questioned about attending other NBA games and his hereafter in Dallas before the offseason.

“Kyrie just loves basketball and loves going to games, so no, I wasn’t concerned about that,” said Mark in the podcast.

“It gives us scoring, a champion, an All-Star — someone whose basketball IQ is extremely high. It gives us another weapon to put alongside Luka Doncic,” Cuban remarked. “But we traded for him because we wanted him to be a long-term piece, you know? And I think Kyrie’s just misunderstood. Everybody sees all the noise and everything around him, but when you actually talk to him, I like him.”

Termine then continued by saying that he had harsh criticisms of the re-signing, to which Mark replied, “That’s because you’re wrong.”

The Mavs owner then went on to talk about Irving’s relationships with other players, stating that they are all great and that the Dallas players simply “love him.”

What is the Mavs record since Kyrie?

In a deal with the Brooklyn Nets on February 6, the Dallas Mavericks obtained Kyrie Irving, an 2016 NBA champion with the ‘Cavs’ and 8-time All-Star. The Mavericks, who had a 29-26 record and had the No. 5 ranked in the elimination standings of the Western Conference at the time of the trade, anticipated that adding Irving and star guard Luka ‘El Nino Maravilla’ Doncic would drastically improve their chances of winning the championship.

Kyrie Irving

Instead, the Mavs have lost 9-16 games since getting Irving, finishing 38-42 overall and with the No. 11 seed in the Western Conference, one spot outside the playoffs. FiveThirtyEight estimates that the Mavs have a 7% probability of making the playoffs with two games left in the regular season.

Despite the Mavs’ lackluster performance since acquiring Irving, C. Haynes of Bleacher Report stated on Monday that “the idea is still to re-sign the star guard.” Overall, Mark Cuban’s backing for Kyrie Irving appears to be motivated by his interactions with Irving personally and by his confidence in “kyrazzle-dazzle’s” ability.

What do you think about Mark’s comments on Kyrie Irving? Let us know more in the comments section.


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