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As the Dallas Mavericks set to take on the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, there are what some might call revenge factors on both sides of the matchup. Kyrie Irving has already lamented the way his tenure with the Celtics ended and subsequent fallout with the Boston fans. On the other side is Kristaps Porzingis, who spent three seasons with the Mavericks before eventually ending up with the Celtics prior to this season. 

Porzingis' time in Dallas, and particularly alongside Luka Doncic, was tricky. First, he had to miss his first full season after being traded from New York as he recovered from an ACL tear. Then, in the 2020 bubble playoffs, just as he was getting it cooking at 24 points per game on 53% 3-point shooting, he tore his meniscus. He never fully meshed with Rick Carlisle, who more or less told him to stand in the corner during the 2021 playoffs. 

But it was his relationship with Doncic that was always the hottest topic. Did they like each other? Were they compatible co-stars? The latter should've been an obvious yes given their collective and skillsets, though it never really materialized. Again, we were starting to see what they could be in the those bubble playoffs. That team could've done some damage. 

But the relationship part? The egos of two young stars, only one of which is being handed the keys to the franchise? Many have speculated as to the frostiness of that dynamic, and former NBA player Chandler Parsons, who spent two seasons in Dallas before Doncic or Porzingis arrived, is the latest. 

"Don't get it twisted, they do not like Porzingis in Dallas," Parsons said on Monday. "Luka did not like playing with him. There's an actual beef there."

When Doncic was asked about Parson's comments, he could only snicker. 

"That's why I don't watch a lot of that [sports talk], because people don't know," Doncic said. "I've talked to Chandler Parsons maybe twice in my life, so I don't know how he would know that. But me and KP [Porzingis] have a good relationship. I don't know why people would say otherwise."

For Porzingis' part, he was also asked about his relationship with Doncic and chose not to divulge anything on Tuesday. 

"It didn't work out," Porzingis said matter of factly. "I think it was ... yeah. I don't know, I'm not even thinking about that right now. I'm focused on the job ahead. We can talk about that later."

It's pretty obvious that this is a question that, from the reporter's standpoint, has to be asked, and also one that is not going to receive anything but a glossed-over answer from either Doncic or Porzingis at this time. These guys are about to compete for an NBA championship, which would be a first for both. They couldn't give two you-know-whats about whatever drama may or may not have existed between them three or four years ago. 

That said, Porzingis has been pretty consistent in taking the high road on this topic. Earlier this year, when J.J. Redick had Porzingis on his podcast and asked him about his time with the Mavs and why he thinks it didn't go as well everyone had hoped, Porzingis admitted to a bit of what Redick described as "a pissing contest" with Doncic in the early stages of the relationship, but for the most part used his time not to put the responsibility for any rough patches he and Doncic may or may not have navigated, but to reflect only on what he could have done better and the perspective he has gained over the years as he has matured. 

"It's a mix of many things," Porzingis said when asked why things didn't work out in Dallas. "Maturity, for sure. Again, I'm talking about what I could have done better. Maturity on my part for sure. ... "I think we both tried to make it work. I think maturity and communication on both of our parts should have been better."

Porzingis chuckled throughout his answer, as you can see if you want to scroll to the 26-minute mark of the clips below, which certainly suggests there's a little more to this story. At one point, even Redick, who was on that Dallas team with Porzingis and Doncic for a few months, noted that he felt some iciness between the two, notably during a particular timeout in Memphis, but the larger point was that with the benefit of time and the maturity that comes with it, some things are better left unsaid. 

Parsons decided to say it, and maybe he's right. Maybe Doncic and Porzingis hate each other. and are just saying the right things for the cameras. Maybe Porzingis is going to get booed every time he touches the ball in Dallas. But at the end of the day, who cares? is this the junior high schoolyard or the NBA Finals? Let's play some basketball.