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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Zach Koons

Kyrie Irving Explains Why He Didn’t Swap Jerseys With Dillon Brooks

After video surfaced of him appearing to snub Dillon Brooks in a possible jersey swap at the end of Monday night’s game between the Mavericks and GrizzliesKyrie Irving offered up an explanation as to why he didn’t take the Memphis player’s uniform.

Following the Grizzlies’ 112–108 win, Brooks and Irving met on the court and exchanged a brief handshake and hug. Both took off their jerseys, but Irving quickly moved on from the conversation after handing his uniform to Brooks and without accepting the No. 24 Grizzlies jersey in return.

Irving addressed the situation when speaking to reporters later in the evening, explaining that he didn’t intentionally shrug off Brooks.

“I saw that after the game. I'll probably get it next time. Probably next time. Not this time,” Irving said during his postgame press conference when asked about his interaction with Brooks. “I was really onto the next thing, thought process-wise.”

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Brooks, who appeared to briefly look up after Irving walked away from their interaction, said that he planned on signing the Mavericks guard’s jersey himself before putting it on his wall, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Monday night’s botched jersey swap between the two players comes after Brooks, who has earned his “Dillon the Villain” nickname this season, doled out some trash talk to Irving and running mate Luka Dončić earlier in the month when the two Mavericks stars missed a game against the Grizzlies. Dončić remained out of Monday’s game, but Irving managed to score a team-high 28 points in the Dallas loss.

The Mavericks and Grizzlies aren’t scheduled to meet again during the 2022–23 regular season, so if Irving does actually want to accept a jersey from Brooks, it will have to wait until a potential playoff series or until next year.

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