Kyrie Irving Offers Expansive Thoughts After Bricking Potential Game-Winner

Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Early returns on the Dallas Mavericks' decision to go out and get Kyrie Irving have not been overwhelmingly positive. Last night the mercurial guard had an opportunitity to be a hero against the Indiana Pacers but his attempted game-winner bounced harmlessly off the rim. The Mavs have now lost four of the five times Irving has suited up and shared the court with Luka Doncic. Which, obviously, is not going to get it done and perhaps portends some future friction because Irving has been known to, let's say, need a little extra love and care in the past.

So that's the bad news. The good news for Mark Cuban - and every other Dallas fan optimistic enough to think a mid-season addition of Kyrie could ever work - is that there were expansive comments from the newest guy in town and they all sound pretty chill and positive. Via ESPN:

"I just appreciate the coaching staff and my teammates trusting me with that shot and just the comfort they gave me afterwards," Irving said following the defeat. "Really want to win here, really put a lot of pressure on myself at times. I think I need to scale it back a little bit, just because the second half of the season, just feeling like we've got to be great every single possession, and usually these learning curves or learning moments happen in preseason, and it's happening now. So it definitely puts a glaring eye on what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong. Easy to criticize, but for us, I've just got to focus on being the best that I can be and showing up for not only Luka, but for my teammates."

There was more.

"The last two games, I just haven't played with the fluidity of my game and just complementing others and just doing the little things to get us wins," he added. "I mean, it's natural. It comes with it. And also, as a human being, I just naturally want to fit in with everybody and not step on anyone's toes.

And more.

"But the magnitude of the moments sometimes warrants special people to go up and beyond and do the extra things. I'm at that place now, but I think I just need to scale back and let the game come to me and flow into it, because when we're playing that tense, I can feel the intensity around me. I think I've just got to settle in and stay poised."

Still more.

"It's the big business, baby," Irving surmised. "It's the big business. As much pressure as I put on myself, I have goals that I would love to accomplish, but all those are pushed to the side because I know I have 15 other guys on this team that are relying on me to do things that they've either seen me do or they're expecting me to do as one of the best players in the league. So sitting alongside Luka, I just have to show up to the party.

Just a little more.

"I've been in situations in this league. Some have been failures, some have been successes, but over the last few years I've made it a goal of mine to just be stronger mentally, especially dealing with the rigors of this mentally, physically, emotionally. It'll come. It'll come."

Dallas is now seventh in the Western Conference, meaning they are only 1.5 games from being out of the playoffs entirely. On the other hand they only a 1.5 games away from having homecourt advantage in a first-round series. Nineteen games remain on their schedule.

Honestly, this thing could go any number of ways. But in the cold reality of the first March morning, would you really bank on it ending well? Even if "well" is winning one playoff series and competing in another? If so, then congratulations on your optimism. We simply foresee future messiness.

Hell, right now this new duo can't even win, which is the tradeoff for what is sure to be dramatic drama.