In his first public comments since his trade from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving said he felt “very disrespected” by his former team.
“I just know I want to be places where I’m celebrated and not just tolerated or just kind of dealt with in a way that doesn’t make me feel respected,” Irving said after Tuesday’s practice at USC’s Galen Hall. “There were times throughout this process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected and my talent — I work extremely hard at what I do. No one ever talks about my work ethic, though. Everyone talks about what I’m doing off the floor, so I just wanted to change that narrative, write my own story and just continue preparing in the gym, and now that I’m in Dallas, just focus on what I control.”
Irving requested a trade from the Nets after contract extension talks broke down. Irving cited a lack of “transparency and honesty from people in the front office” as a reason he did not feeling comfortable continuing his career with the Nets.
“I’m not the person to really speak on names and go to someone behind their back and try to leak stuff to the media,” Irving said. “That’s never been me. Now I’ve been an audience member, watching people say things about me that ultimately just fall off my shoulder. I’m really in a place that I’m grateful that I got to grow into over the last year and a half, two years. Spending time away from the basketball court gave me time to really appreciate life in a new way, and I just know I need healthy boundaries, especially in this entertainment business. There’s a lot of disrespect that goes on with people’s families, with their names, and I’m just not worth it, so it’s nothing personal against any of those guys, against the front office.
“It’s just what I’m willing to accept, and I took a chance. Luckily and fortunately, the Dallas Mavericks picked me up.”