Kyrie Irving's heartwarming moment with Luka Doncic shows Dallas is perfect for him

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

When the Dallas Mavericks defeated the OKC Thunder 117-116 in Game 6 to advance to the Western Conference Finals, Kyrie Irving shared an emotional moment with Luka Doncic.

It had been a long and challenging game, and an extremely tough series, and this moment between Doncic and Irving shows all of the hard work they have put in over the last season and a half.

The doubters are now silent, and Doncic and Irving are playing at an elite level.

Kyrie Irving's heartwarming moment with Luka Doncic shows Dallas is perfect for him

In their first full season together, Irving helped Doncic and the Mavs return to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three seasons. The moment with them hugging each other after the series clincher against the Thunder shows Dallas is where Irving belongs.

Irving's journey to Dallas was a difficult one. After requesting a trade out of Cleveland in 2017, he had an opportunity to be a true No. 1 superstar with a franchise. It didn't work out in his two seasons with the Celtics. In 2019, he joined the Nets. His ability to be a No. 1 superstar still didn't happen.

In February 2023, Irving got an opportunity to be a mentor and sidekick to Doncic after being traded to the Mavs. After missing the playoffs in 2023, Irving has excelled as Doncic's teammate.

Since Doncic started his career with the Mavs in 2018, he hasn't had the ability to play with another elite player for years to come. Dirk Nowitzki was his teammate for one season, but it was Nowitzki's final season of his career.

In his first full season in Dallas, Irving averaged 25.6 points per game. Before Irving, no other Mav teammate has averaged over 25 points per game in the Doncic era. To make things better, Irving has an incredible bond and speaks highly of Doncic on and off the court.

"I just have to sit back and marvel at his talent, and his ability to get outside his comfort zone," Irving said after the Game 6 win. "And, you know, I enjoy watching him, be a father. I enjoy watching him, you know, develop as a person first, and then basketball stuff will take care of it."

At 32 years old, Irving can see how important it is to be Doncic's teammate and see how far he can take his game and the Mavs.

"I want to be a teammate and a brother next to him that helps him grow as a man and helps him achieve the things that he wants to achieve," Irving said.

Doncic spoke highly of Irving after Game 6 as well.

"Nothing but supportive of everything I did, everything we did," Doncic said. "But just, he helped me mature a lot. Realize, to see the game in a different way. And obviously on the court, it is amazing to play with a guy like him."

Doncic and Irving will now have an opportunity to lead the Mavs to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2011.