Kyrie Irving’s 6-word message to Mavericks teammates after hitting $1 million bonus

Kyrie Irving’s first full season with the Mavericks has been a huge success, and he’s netting another nice payday because of it.

Kyrie Irving went through a 2022-23 season full of tumult. His stint with the Brooklyn Nets, already filled to the brim with controversy, ended rather infuriatingly after Irving requested a trade. The Dallas Mavericks then took Irving in, betting on his talent shining through as he works to figure out his off-court troubles. Now, it’s looking like the Mavericks’ bet on Irving is paying off immensely, with Dallas bouncing back from their terrible end to last season with a 50-win campaign in 2024, setting up a matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers in Round 1.

But beyond the Mavericks’ clinching of a top-five spot and the overall success of the team buoyed by Luka Doncic’s greatness and the timely contributions of the team’s trade deadline pickups, Irving himself stood to gain financially after Dallas crossed the 50-win barrier, earning himself a $1 million incentive following their 111-92 win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.

Sure, $1 million may be chump change for Kyrie Irving compared to his annual salary, but $1 million is still $1 million, so the Mavericks star thanked his teammates for helping him net yet another nice payday.

“Thank you for my bonus, fellas,” Irving told his teammates, per Brad Townsend of Dallas Morning News.

Mavericks minority owner Mark Cuban then played coy despite knowing full well that the contract Kyrie Irving signed this past offseason contained such an incentive.

“Kyrie, what bonus?” Cuban replied in jest.

It is clearly all good vibes for the Mavericks; they have won 16 of their past 20 games, including 12 of their past 13. Getting 50 wins in the stacked Western Conference is no mean feat. And with the way the Mavs ended last season, it has been quite a turnaround for Kyrie Irving and company to get to this point.

Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, the best backcourt in the league

At this point, it should be a unanimous thought among NBA fans that the Mavericks have the best backcourt in the league, with Kyrie Irving being at his best torching opponents by making the most out of the space Luka Doncic creates.

Trading for Irving was always going to be risky; the Mavericks traded away two crucial pieces of the team that made the 2022 Western Conference Finals, in addition to a precious first-round pick, just to put Irving alongside Doncic. Some analysts questioned the fit, but the on-court fit wasn’t going to be the main issue anyway given how well Irving works alongside almost anyone in the NBA.

The worry was always going to be that Kyrie Irving’s extracurriculars would always distract from his greatness on the court. But with the Mavericks, Irving has felt nothing but love from the front office, his teammates, and the fanbase. This has allowed him to flourish, putting up 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists in 58 games this season.

Will Kyrie be the Mavericks’ much-needed Clippers killer?

Luka Doncic has been dominant against the Los Angeles Clippers throughout his career. But even then, contrary to popular belief, the Mavericks came up short on both first-round matchups against Kawhi Leonard and company, with Doncic left to carry such an oversized offensive burden.

Kyrie Irving is the best player Luka Doncic has ever teamed up with; in 2020 and 2021, Tim Hardaway Jr. was Doncic’s most consistent teammate, with Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson not yet playing at the level we see from them today. Irving may have his bonus for helping lead the Mavericks to 50 wins, but he’ll forever be etched in franchise lore if he ends up being the missing piece for them as they try to overcome the Clippers for once.