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Kyrie felt 'very disrespected' by Nets

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Former Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is looking forward to a fresh start with the Dallas Mavericks.

"I just know I want to be in a place where I'm celebrated and not just tolerated or dealt with in a way that doesn't make me feel respected," Irving told reporters Tuesday at his introductory press conference, including ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk.

"There were times throughout this process when I was in Brooklyn where I felt very disrespected. I work extremely hard at what I do. No one ever talks about my work ethic, though. Everyone talks about what I'm doing off the floor. I just want to change that narrative. Write my own story."

Irving's off-court controversies overshadowed his excellent play over four seasons in Brooklyn. The eight-time All-Star made only 29 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and New York City prohibited unvaccinated players on the Nets and New York Knicks from playing home games. Irving then missed eight contests in November for sharing a link to a movie containing antisemitic tropes.

Irving didn't specify how the Nets disrespected him, but the former No. 1 overall pick said that signing with his childhood club in free agency was a naive decision.

"I wish I would've got to know the people that were behind the organization. ... When things start to change, and you're not getting transparency and honesty from people in the front office or people around you, I don't know what person feels comfortable or confident in that type of environment," Irving said, according to's Mark Medina.

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