Before there was 'The Trade,' there was 'The Shot.' And as Kyrie Irving prepares to return to Cleveland as a member of the Boston Celtics for the first time, the Cavaliers are opting to focus on the latter.
The Cavs confirmed to WKYC that they will honor their former star guard with a short video tribute at some point during Cleveland's season opener against Irving's Celtics on Tuesday night. Irving spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cavs and hit the game-winning 3-point shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
The Cavs' planned video tribute was first reported by Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon.
While the team plans on saying "thank you" to Irving, fans at Quicken Loans Arena may take a different approach. Although Irving was a fan favorite in Cleveland, he soured many Cavs fans when he requested a trade from the team this past summer. Just last week, the 4-time All-Star seemed to take a thinly veiled as his former home, referring to Boston as a "real live sports city."
On Monday, Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue said he wasn't sure how Cavs fans would receive Irving, but that he supported their right to do as they please.
“We’ve got the best fans in the world and they’re going to do whatever they see best,” Lue said. “Whatever decision they make, that’s the right one. They’ve been behind us for three straight years since I’ve been here, they’ve always made the right decisions. So whatever they decide to do, I embrace whatever they do.”