CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Cavaliers plan to video pay tribute to Kyrie Irving in the first quarter of Wednesday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, sources told cleveland.com.
The video, which has been in the vault for years, is slated to run on the first media timeout and will celebrate Irving and his many hits with the Cavaliers in six years, highlighting The Shot in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Final against the Golden State Warriors.
“He’s one of our legends and we believe he should be honored,” said a source. “We’re excited to celebrate Kyrie.”
The Cavs wanted to air the video in his second leg on October 17, 2017, the only time Irving has played in Cleveland since asking for a trade this summer. But Celtics teammate Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome leg injury and the Cavs scrapped the celebration believing it would have been impervious.
Irving, number 1 in 2011, spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Cavs before joining in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a coveted draft pick that eventually became Collin Sexton Celtics switched. Irving left Boston after two seasons and teamed up with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn in 2018-19.
During his career in Cleveland, Irving was named NBA Rookie of the Year and became a three-time NBA All-Star. In 2014 he received the All-Star Game MVP award. Irving helped the Cavaliers get their only title in 2016, scoring the biggest hit in franchise history and one of the most memorable in the finals.
Only two players – Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova – are left from those years, and both will miss Wednesday’s matchup. Love falls out with a calf injury and Dellavedova remains on the league’s concussion log. Due to his history of concussions, it will take longer for him to recover.
Irving starts for networks.