Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving Shared Sweet Moment After Mavericks’ Game 6 Win

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving showed—and said—how much they mean to each other.
May 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates with Dallas teammate Kyrie Irving
May 11, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrates with Dallas teammate Kyrie Irving / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After Kyrie Irving's messy divorce with the Brooklyn Nets and subsequent trade to the Dallas Mavericks back in February of 2023, the million dollar question remained: Would Irving's partnership with Mavericks star Luka Dončić work?

Well, it may have taken the duo a season to build synergy, but the answer is a resounding yes after the Mavs' 117—116 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night clinched a spot in the Western Conference Finals.

Dončić and Irving go together like peanut butter and jelly on the court, but NBA fans got to see just how much the two stars genuinely enjoy each other's company in the aftermath of Dallas's series-ending win.

First, Dončić and Irving shared a postgame embrace that didn't give off an ounce of insincerity.

Then, the two Mavs stars, all smiles, took to the podium for their postgame press conference and were asked what they mean to each other as "brothers and teammates."

“[Irving's] nothing but supportive of everything I did," Dončić said. "Just helped me mature a lot, realize to see the game in a different way, and obviously on the court it’s amazing to play with a guy like him…The leader he’s been for us, not just for me but for us, he’s been amazing, always positive energy."

Then it was time for Irving, who mentioned how Dončić has "pushed him" in multiple ways, to speak.

"I don't have a perfect journey, so coming into this environment, I was unsure how we were going to work out on the court but off the court I knew eventually that I would get [Luka] to open up," Irving said. "This guy’s a big teddy bear at times off the court, big competitor.

"A teddy bear who likes to compete. He’s still ducking me in dominoes…I just have to sit back and marvel at his talent…I enjoy watching him be a father, I enjoy watching him develop as a person first, and then the basketball stuff will take care of it."

Irving finished up by saying that he "wants to be a teammate and brother next to him [Luka] who helps him grow as a man."

Everyone knows how talented Dončić and Irving are on the court. But the relationship the two have built off the court is worth far more than any triple-double or jaw-dropping crossover.

And the Mavs, who await the winner of Sunday's Game 7 between the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves, are about to find out how far this great partnership can take them.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim Capurso is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Previously he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.