Kyrie Irving flames ESPN for disrespectful take that has come back to bite them

Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz
Dallas Mavericks v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

Last season, the Dallas Mavericks shocked the entire NBA world when they traded for Kyrie Irving right before the trade deadline. This isn't a move that many people expected, and Dallas made a big splash to pair Luka Doncic with another star player.

While last year didn't go as planned and the Mavs missed the playoffs, this year has been much different.

The Mavs are 46-30 on the year and they have displayed that they are elite contenders in the NBA through the leadership of Irving and Doncic. While Irving is focused on winning a championship this season, he also hasn't forgotten about how the national media viewed him and the Mavericks when they failed last season.

Kyrie Irving flames ESPN for grading Mavericks' trade for him a D

After Dallas' victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night, Irving detailed how it felt to clinch a playoff spot this season after last season not going as planned.

"I got a meme in my photos, you know how us athletes love memes that the media puts out," Irving said. "I think ESPN gave us a D, like a grade D for the trade of me coming here. I think us clinching a playoff spot and putting ourselves in great position definitely answers some of those questions that were asked last season and some of the naysayers and all that stuff..."

Irving's answer wasn't malicious in any way, but him calling ESPN's trade grade a "meme" definitely shows how he feels looking back to last year.

Irving said that it feels good to be having such a productive season after last season's shortcomings, and he definitely hasn't forgotten about the doubters from ESPN who gave the Mavs' trade for him a D. ESPN obviously didn't think Irving was going to fit in Dallas, but his fit alongside Doncic has quickly silenced the doubters.

No one in the Western Conference wants to play the Mavs in the playoffs, and if they can keep playing like this, they could end up making a deep playoff run. Former Mavs wing Chandler Parsons recently stated that this year's team is the best team that Doncic has ever had, and that's saying a lot considering they reached the Western Conference in 2022.

Irving's next chance to silence the doubters is tonight against the Golden State Warriors.

Stay tuned for all the latest news on Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, and the Dallas Mavericks.