Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving left the arena with a protective walking boot on his right foot after his team's 112-108 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night. Irving said the boot is "precautionary," and he hopes to be ready for the team's next game on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors.
The incident happened early in the third quarter as Irving was trying to cut through the lane. Brooks stepped on his heel and Irving collapsed in obvious pain. Initially, a foul was called on Brooks, though the Grizzlies challenged the ruling and it was overturned to a moving screen on Dwight Powell.
"Unfortunate play," Irving said. "I would have felt different up here if I felt Dillon did it on purpose, but I didn't. Just one of those plays where he's trailing me and I think his feet got caught up in mine and I twisted my ankle. Just bad timing, but the game has to keep going on."
That was the second of three noteworthy moments involving Irving and Brooks during the game. Early on, Irving sent some trash talk Brooks' way, telling him to "stop playing that dumb--- defense." After the final buzzer, there was an awkward moment where the two appeared to agree to a jersey exchange, only Irving never took Brook's shirt. (Irving said postgame that was unintentional.)
Here it is. pic.twitter.com/K9zd9aqy9N— Chase Jordan (@goatcollect) March 21, 2023
The injury, though, takes precedence over the superfluous drama. With this loss to the Grizzlies, the Mavericks are 2-4 in their last six games and 5-7 since the All-Star break. The injuries to Irving and Luka Doncic, who have missed the previous five games, have been a major problem, and the Mavericks cannot afford to lose Irving again.
"I just gotta make it back home to Dallas and start my recovery work and do everything I can to prepare for the next day and a half," Irving said. "Take time, rest and exhaust all my options to be ready to play the next game.
"I was really worried about my ankle being sprained, but once we came back here. It wasn't, it was just a reaggravation of that same spot on the top of my right foot... It went in a position where I could only re-aggravate my big toe. Again, unfortunate, but just looking forward to the next 48 hours."
Next up for the Mavericks is the Warriors on Wednesday, which will be a huge game for both teams. The Warriors currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference at 37-36, while the Mavericks are half a game behind at 36-36. This game will decide the season series between the two teams and could possibly determine who gets a top-six spot and who has to go to the play-in tournament.