Mar 19, 2024 - Sports

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving on Ramadan and basketball

A basketball player with his hand up, surrounded by cheering fans and other players

You couldn't tell Kyrie Irving was fasting all day based on that stellar performance on Sunday. Photo: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has been on a tear lately — all while fasting for Ramadan.

The latest: Irving scored 28 points in the Mavericks win Tuesday night against San Antonio, with the first quarter occurring before Iftar time.

State of play: Irving's ability to take charge in tense moments was on full display against the 2023 champion Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

  • Luka Dončić scored a 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left, tying the game. Denver missed a 2-point shot and Dallas called a time out.
  • Irving returned to score a difficult game-winning shot — left handed — as the crowd at American Airlines Center erupted.

The intrigue: Irving scored 24 points during the afternoon game, without having consumed water or food all day.

  • "To be able to play 48 minutes and not do it with a drink or any food in my stomach is nothing short of a miracle, so there's definitely a universal God out there that's protecting me — and I gotta give credit to him," he said in a post-game interview.

Yes, but: "Ramadan is a special month. You try not to think about the suffering too much and really focus on the journey with God and the path that you're on," Irving said.

Catch up quick: Ramadan is considered the holiest month in Islam and Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, with exceptions for some people.

  • The month, which follows the lunar calendar, started last week and will end in mid-April.
  • Muslim athletes have long trained and competed while fasting for Ramadan, including Olympians and several NBA players.

What's next: Most of the Mavericks' games during the rest of Ramadan will be outside fasting hours. Their March 31 game against the Houston Rockets and their April 2 game against the Golden State Warriors will have some overlap.

The bottom line: Ramadan Kyrie may not be able to eat all day, but he sure can cook. 🤩

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