Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, who recently missed three games due to a right foot issue, reaggravated that injury during Monday’s loss in Memphis, writes Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News.
As Caplan details, Irving ended up leaving the FedExForum in a walking boot after Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks stepped on the back of his foot during the third quarter. While Kyrie referred to the boot as “just precautionary,” Caplan suggests the Mavs’ star was walking with a bit of a limp after the game.
“I just got to make it back home to Dallas and then start my recovery work and do everything I can to prepare for the next game,” Irving said. “Take time to rest and exhaust all my options possible to be ready to play the next game.”
Despite Brooks’ reputation, Irving made it clear that he didn’t believe there was anything intentional or malicious about the play.
“I would’ve felt different up here if I feel he did it on purpose, but I didn’t,” Irving said. “It’s just one of those plays where he’s trailing me, and I think his feet got caught up in mine and twisted my ankle. Just bad timing, but the game has to keep going.”
Here’s more on the Mavs:
- Although Irving professed no hard feelings toward the combative Grizzlies wing, he declined Brooks’ postgame request to swap jerseys, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, who notes that Kyrie gave Brooks his Mavs jersey but didn’t accept Brooks’ Grizzlies jersey (Twitter video link). “Probably get it next time,” Irving said with a smile. “Not this time. I was really onto the next thing.”
- It was another night, another feud for Brooks, who faces a second automatic one-game suspension after picking up his 18th technical foul of the season for taunting Dallas’ bench after a dunk (Twitter video link). He explained after the game that he was aiming a “pom-poms” gesture at Mavs reserve Theo Pinson. “I just wanted to let him know he’s a cheerleader. That was it,” Brooks said (YouTube video link). “Same class. I grew up watching him play, he was a great basketball player. And now he gets paid to cheerlead. Love it.” Responding on Twitter, Pinson wrote, “I got some real estate I see,“ followed by a crying-laughing emoji.
- Both the Grizzlies and Mavericks are close to getting their All-NBA guards back. Ja Morant rejoined the Grizzlies on Monday following his eight-game suspension and though he didn’t play vs. Dallas, head coach Taylor Jenkins said the team is “hopeful” Morant will be back on Wednesday vs. Houston, according to MacMahon. “So long as everything medically clears out,” Jenkins said. Meanwhile, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said on Monday night that Luka Doncic (left thigh strain) is trending in the right direction and will “hopefully” return soon.