DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks' 117-116 Game 6 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday was a fitting ending to the series. Oklahoma City and Dallas battled throughout. It was a hard-fought series that led to Mavs star Kyrie Irving making an eye-opening admission.

While speaking to reporters after the game, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd revealed that Irving told him “this is the hardest thing that I’ve ever gone through.”

“He (Irving) actually said that to me, ‘this is the hardest thing that I've ever gone through.' So I said, ‘is it? Well you did win a championship. It was easy?' I said, ‘it's cool. Actually this will be a great story to be able to tell your kids, how hard it really is to win.' Nothing comes easy in life,” Kidd said. “I just told him to just put this up there with some of the hardest things you're gonna have to grind through… Yes, he's probably exhausted. Yes, he probably felt like he could have made a couple shots. But he did his part to help the team win on the defensive end and also accepted the double-teams.

“When you look at this series, yes he didn't have the offensive explosion but he was the glue in this series. He kept everybody together, he kept everybody positive. Yes, it was the hardest thing but it only gets harder. And that's what makes it fun for the great ones.”

Kyrie Irving is a great player. As Kidd mentioned, Kyrie did not have an “offensive explosion” against the Thunder. Still, he found ways to contribute in an important manner.

Overall, Irving averaged 15.7 points and 6.2 assists per game in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Kyrie Irving's postgame speech after hard-fought series

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts after the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Irving not only spoke to the media after the game, but he gave the Mavericks a speech. Kyrie is now 14-0 in close-out games and is headed to another conference finals appearance. The Mavs star had nothing but positive things to say to his teammates after another successful close-out game.

“Y'all gonna make me cry man, don't do that,” Irving told his teammates after the game, via ESPN. “I just want to thank each one of you guys man. All your sacrifices, all the things that you guys are doing when nobody is watching. I truly appreciate it. All the words of affirmation go a long way, man. Keep the positivity going, job is not finished. But we can definitely celebrate this one.”

The Mavs were challenged by the Thunder, who entered the NBA playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Dallas, meanwhile, was the No. 5 seed.

Nevertheless, the Mavericks were not intimidated. They were fresh off an impressive series victory over the Los Angles Clippers and carried that momentum into the Western Conference Semifinals.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the Thunder were able to earn two victories in the series. In the end, Kyrie Irving and the Mavs took care of business and won the series in six games.

Dallas is now waiting to find out if they will play against the Denver Nuggets or Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals. Denver and Minnesota will go head-to-head in Game 7 of their series on Sunday night.