Kyrie Irving is zen following the Mavericks finishing collapsing and missing the playoffs after they acquired the point guard.
The Mavericks rested Irving and a number of their other key rotation players, including Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Josh Green and Christian Wood, and played Luka Doncic for just 13 minutes en route to a 115-112 loss to the Bulls on Friday night.
With the loss, the Mavericks are officially eliminated from postseason contention (but are in better position to preserve the top-10 protected draft pick that they would have owed the Knicks from the 2019 Kristaps Porzingis trade).
Irving does not seem particularly bothered by the whole ordeal.
The mercurial guard posted a meme on his protected Twitter account showing Squirtle, a turtle from Pokémon, smelling flowers and feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
“Protect your peace at all times,” Irving tweeted, with a caption on the meme that read: “When you realize that you can’t & aren’t obligated to please everyone and stop burdening yourself under absurd expectations and finally feel at peace.”
Dallas was 29-26 and in fifth place in the Western conference when the team acquired Irving from the Nets on Feb. 6.
After the trade the Mavericks went 9-17, and 8-13 in games played by Irving.
Earlier this week, former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway Sr., the father of Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr., called out Irving and Luka Doncic for a lack of leadership.
“They’re missing a leader out there,” Hardaway Sr. told Craig Carton on FS1.
“Luka is not a leader. Kyrie is not a leader. [For] me personally, that trade wasn’t for them. I think I would have kept what I had because I was in the fourth or fifth spot [in the Western Conference]. What is not broken does not need to be fixed.”
Hardaway Jr. disagreed with his father’s assessment, telling reporters from ESPN and the Dallas Morning News that Doncic is a leader “on and off the floor” and that “Kyrie has been nothing [other] than a leader since he’s been here — making sure that everybody’s good on and off the floor, texting everybody in our group in the player-only just to make sure everybody’s good, everybody’s holding together, staying strong.”