It has been four years since Kyrie Irving last played a game in Cleveland, as the former Cavaliers star had yet to play against his former team in their home arena since he left in 2017. However, that all changed on Wednesday when Irving suited up for the first time in seven games for the Nets after taking what he called a “needed” personal leave as Brooklyn visited Cleveland for a doubleheader.
During the first timeout of the first quarter, the Cavs finally got to play a tribute video to Irving for the first time since his departure, and the 2,000 fans in attendance greeted him with a standing ovation. Irving waved to the crowd and showed his gratitude to them and the organization by pointing to his ring finger, symbolizing the championship he helped bring them — with his shot over Stephen Curry and the parade featuring heavily in the tribute video.
Cavs thank Kyrie with a tribute video 🙏 pic.twitter.com/hfxOswlESO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 21, 2021
It’s nice to see the positive response Irving got, as his departure from Cleveland wasn’t particularly smooth, but time heals wounds and as the Cavs have begun emerging in their rebuild, their fans can look back a bit more fondly on Irving’s time and the ultimate high he helped them reach with the 2016 championship.