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“A ‘bad’ European”: Irving dotes on Doncic

Kyrie Irving’s debut with the Dallas Mavericks was successful with a win over the LA Clippers, but his co-star debut with Luka Doncic will have to wait.


The Dallas Mavericks’ newest All-Star, Kyrie Irving, shone in his debut against the Loa Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, putting up 24 points, four rebounds, and five assists in their 110-104 victory.

Irving was traded to the Mavs on Sunday from the Brooklyn Nets and in his debut, he contributed to a 13-0 run early in the game, scoring eight points on a jumper, followed by consecutive three-pointers. It was definitely a successful debut, but the much-anticipated duo of Irving and fellow star Luka Doncic will have to wait as Doncic recovers from a heel contusion.

Irving dotes on Doncic

None of this about alpha male competitions on the Mavs team. Irving joins superstar Doncic as an asset and a teammate, not a competitor and enemy.

“It’s still a wait-and-see, but I think of me as a hooper, me as a basketball player. Am I worried about us coexisting or finding cohesion? No,” Irving said. “I’ve played with some of the best of all time, the greatest of all time. I’ve been on some of the greatest teams — at the Olympics and in the world championship.”

Doncic was not able to join in the game against the Clippers, but he did attend and may be able to play on Friday or Saturday when the Mavs play back-to-back games against the Sacramento Kings. With both Irving and Doncic, the Mavs have the highest-scoring duo in the league this season, with a combined 60.5 points per game.

“Luka and Kyrie, it’s dangerous,” said Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. “They can score the ball, their IQs for basketball is extremely high, they understand what it takes to win and they’re about winning.”

Though Irving is accustomed to playing with big-league stars, he admitted he’s never played with someone like Doncic before…

“This is going be my first time seeing one of those ‘bad’ Europeans come over and really dominate up close,” said Irving. “And to have the opportunity to do it at a pace that I don’t think has been seen before, other than like Larry Bird, or somebody else that just plays at their own pace, scores a bunch of points and is constantly in an MVP conversation every year just cause he commands that much attention.”

Irving does not see Doncic as a threat, but rather is excited to work with him, appreciate his talents, and help him along the court in whatever way he can.

“As much as I can alleviate for him, as much as I can lead alongside him, willing to do, but there’s no pressure here, nothing’s forced with me and him,” Irving said. “I just want to play by basketball and enjoy his talent and enjoy my teammate’s talent and, you know, work towards the championship.”