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“Do My Best to Make Him Smile”: Kyrie Irving Explains the Dynamic with Luka Doncic on Mavericks

Advait Jajodia

“Do My Best to Make Him Smile”: Kyrie Irving Explains the Dynamic with Luka Doncic on Mavericks

Kyrie Irving is finally on a team that has a solid off-court bond to complement the on-court chemistry. During Irving’s stint with the Boston Celtics, it was clear that he didn’t fit in the team’s locker room. When in Brooklyn, Kai did have a good relationship with Kevin Durant and James Harden, but they just couldn’t gel as a tandem on the hardwood. However, his balanced relationship with Luka Doncic is helping the Dallas Mavericks flourish in the 2024 postseason.

Irving dropped 30 points in the closeout Game 6 of Dallas’ first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, which ensured that the Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals. After clinching a 4-2 win against Paul George and Co. at American Airlines Center yesterday, the eight-time All-Star was asked to speak about his experience sharing the court and the locker room with someone like Luka Doncic.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Many analysts and enthusiasts have claimed in the past that Doncic is not an ideal teammate to have because of his ball-dominant tendencies. However, the 2016 NBA champion squashed all those rumors by revealing how easy the game becomes when he’s on the court with the Slovenian superstar. Additionally, Irving also pointed out that there was no #1 or #2 option on the team. Everybody on the team had a role to play to ensure the best outcomes for the team.

“It’s easy to play alongside somebody like that [Luka]. But you also have to be sure of yourself because when somebody’s that special it’s easy to kind of fall into that secondary role. There’s no primary, secondary – we’re one team…And that’s always been the M.O. since the beginning of the season. We’re a team, and everybody has a specific role…So, when me and Luka are getting it going like that it just feels good and makes the game a lot easier,” Irving said [per Dallas beat report Grant Afseth].

Perhaps, the biggest reason behind the Mavs’ success is their strong bond off the court. Speaking about the chemistry he has with Luka, Irving added, “Off the court, you know, [he’s a] 25-year-old kid [so I] do my best to make him smile and have good energy and also [he’s a] new father so try to support him in other ways and on the basketball court it just looks seamless.” 

Luka Doncic also spoke about their alliance. The four-time All-NBA player displayed his admiration for Kyrie, not just as a player but also as a human being. In fact, Luka couldn’t stop raving about his partner-in-crime being a “great guy”.

“He is a great guy, and you know, he’s with all the young guys coming in. Obviously we have some vets but we have a couple of young guys. So I think me and Kai, really gonna help them out,” Luka said in an interview with Rachel Nichols on the Headliners show.

The backcourt pairing’s chemistry has translated to the Mavericks’ success. Combining for more than 59 points per game in the regular season, the duo led their side to a 5th-spot finish in the Western Conference. The same seems to be the case in the postseason as well, as they average almost 57 points and 14 assists per game, per

With role players such as P.J. Washington, Derrick Jones Jr., Dereck Lively II, and Daniel Gafford, among others, fulfilling the roles alloted to them, the Mavericks have a great opportunity to make a push to come out victorious from the West.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia


Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,700+ articles.

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