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'This was for the long term' | Kyrie Irving hints his Mavericks stint isn't a rental, committed to Dallas long-term

WFAA-TV Dallas-Ft. Worth 3/30/2023 Paul Livengood

When Kyrie Irving was traded to the Mavericks in in February, the narrative from NBA pundits was that the superstar guard was on a one-year rental. 

Irving is set to be a free agent after the 2023 season ends, and the Mavs bringing in Irving was viewed as a home run swing to make a run at the title. Since Irving's arrival, unfortunately for the Mavericks and their fans, the team moved from being fourth in a tight Western Conference standings to 11th.

Dallas is 7-11 in games Irving has played in and 8-14 overall since his acquisition (missed four games due to injury).

The natural thought is perhaps the Mavericks had completely blown its chance to utilize Irving's top-tier talent and he'd be on his way out to another situation such as the LeBron-led Lakers. 

Pump the brakes.

After Dallas' 116-108 loss to the Philadelphia Sixers, the Mavericks guard hinted that his time in Texas may not be as short-lived as many originally thought. 

"It's been a scramble since I've been here. I'm trying to fill in roles that were filled in from other people. I think the realistic view when I came here is that this was going to be a growing process. This was for the long term," Irving said. "This was for something that was bigger than ourselves. We can't just be a championship team overnight. I've wrapped my head around that aspect of it. I'm at peace with it."

Irving added that he hasn't given up on this season nor have any of his teammates.

"But we know where we realistically are. We just have to control what we can control... I'm looking forward to the challenge," said Irving. 

With five games remaining, Dallas sits in the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings with a 37-40 record. The top six teams automatically make the playoffs and spots seven through 10 compete in the "play-in tournament."

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